Archived entries for Community Impact

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?

New Video: Give5

Times are challenging, and people are turning to community services more than ever.

Imagine what a difference you could make if you gave just $5 and got five friends, family members, neighbors or coworkers to give… Imagine the potential ripple effect.

Think about it for a minute. There are more than 246,ooo+ people living in Kalamazoo County. Just imagine the enormous impact if everyone gave just $5. Continue reading…

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