Archived entries for News & Events

How are YOU going to finish?


Deriba Merga of Ethiopia crossed the finish line and wins the mens 2009 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:08:42  (Photo credit: John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)

I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all wanted to give up on something we started. We’ve trained for a race, but hit the wall a mile from the finish line. We’ve felt overwhelmed by a new task at work or school and start to question throwing in the towel in favor of something “easier.” Times like these, we might feel a bit hopeless. Maybe we even begin to second-guess ourselves and our ability to push through.

But then we witness something that has the power to change our whole perspective.

For me, it was a video on YouTube I’d like to share today. With less than two weeks left in the 2009 Greater Kalamazoo United Way Community Campaign, I couldn’t help but be stirred by Nick Vujicic’s inspiring message about getting up in the face of unfathomable circumstances.

You see, Nick has no limbs. Anyone else in his position might have given up on life, given up on hope … but not Nick. Take a look at his incredibly moving video. (2 mins, 41 secs): 

Given the challenges we continue to face this campaign season, we could give up and say the task of raising $9.11 million to meet growing needs in our community is daunting. We could cite the obvious (“times are tough for everyone”) and excuse ourselves from what is needed and what is being expected of us.

Or, we could – like Nick – refuse to give up and finish strong. We could heed his message of hope and continue to persevere against the odds placed before us during these tough times. We could all recommit ourselves to reaching that $9.11 million goal, by giving what we can, when we can.

The truth is, there are men, women and children living here in our very own community that desperately need our help. Another Michigan winter is just around the corner, and without adequate food, clothing, shelter and access to health care, the lives of thousands in our community are at risk. We can’t afford to let them fall.  

Nick is surely an inspiration to us all, but not everyone has the same inner strength. Sometimes we, as a community, need to reach out a hand and lift someone else up. Sometimes we need to step up to the plate and give more of ourselves.

There are less than two weeks remaining. Together, as a community, we can—and should—make the most of them.

Will you help us finish strong?

Blogging for Change

One of the things we have been trying to do over the past year is to communicate with YOU – our loyal GKUW donors, advocates, volunteers and the community at large – more often. With our monthly e-newsletter, quarterly inserts in the Kalamazoo Gazette and our Facebook fan page, we’re now able to reach you beyond the campaign season.

Yet we know there are always new opportunities to connect with our supporters.

After our exciting launch on Facebook earlier this fall, we saw the enormous potential of social media, which are connecting people and driving powerful grassroots movements all over the world.

We created this blog to keep our supporters up to speed on our latest local happenings, as well as to create a communal space to share ideas from other nonprofits and community service organizations around the globe that are doing some really cool stuff. Continue reading…

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