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Together We Create a Lasting Impact
As I made my way upstairs to the Crece Conmigo (Grow With Me) program at La Casa de Amistad, an afterschool program that connects tutoring with culture and social development for students from kindergarten to 5th grade, I was greeted with the sound of laughter as children waited patiently, or rather impatiently, for their after school snack. Conversations about their day at school filled the room, while volunteers were greeted with hugs and a quick hello. I had come to do a job, but I left that afternoon remembering the importance of my work.
I was visiting La Casa to film and capture footage of the after school program for a promotional video, but by the end of my stay I found my camera tossed behind my back as I worked to complete a puzzle with a young boy. We chatted here and there, but his focus was centered toward finding that remaining piece of the owl’s eye and making sure I did my job – separating out all of the edge pieces, of course.
That afternoon, I was reminded of the beauty in childlike wonder. As I filmed, I captured the joy of a student’s excitement when she successfully spelled one of her spelling words correctly. Or the laughter that came when the game of Jenga tumbled to the ground. Teaching a student how to snap a picture and seeing the smile light up on her face as the flash captured her friend’s grin – my work didn’t feel so much like work anymore.
And that’s exactly what I love not just about my job, but about United Way. I love that we support and work with local not-for-profit agencies, allowing me to witness firsthand the impact they are making. I love that each agency has their own unique niche and purpose, and I can see the mark they are making on individuals lives right here in our own community. And I love that at United Way, I have the opportunity to be involved with these agencies that serve the most vulnerable.
I Live United because change cannot happen without the community coming together. At United Way of St. Joseph County, we work to fight poverty where it is hurting our community most. We know that eradicating poverty is a goal not easily met, but by partnering with over 40 local not-for-profit agencies, that goal becomes more attainable. It is only with the help of others that we are able to surround the problem of poverty and address it at every layer.
I Live United because together we create a lasting impact.