The measure of United Way is not in the fundraising campaign, but in the ways we are impacting the community.
This summer we met Jane*, a 94 year old veteran who lives alone in Champaign. Jane served our country with pride during World War II, driving a supply truck near the front lines. She loved driving, and drove around town to work, run her errands and visit friends. Jane also volunteered as a Meals on Wheels delivery driver for nearly 25 years. Jane is now unable to drive, and cannot visit the grocery store every day as she used to. Now, a Meals on Wheels volunteer visits Jane.
Meals on Wheels is a Community Impact Fund grant recipient program. They provide a hot lunch meal and sack dinner for hundreds of people in our community. The meals are provided on a sliding-scale fee. “I am lucky to have someone come right to my door every day and bring me a meal. It’s like Christmas every day!” she exclaimed. “The volunteers that bring the meals are so kind. Sometimes they are the only people I see all day.”
We asked Jane why she volunteered for so many years. “I volunteered because I knew that I would want someone to do the same for me. And now that I can’t drive, it’s such a blessing to have someone come by every day. It’s important to give back to others, because you never know when you might need a little help too.”
Jane’s story showcases what it means to LIVE UNITED. She recognized that we all have to pitch in and help. We can all give, advocate and volunteer. It takes an entire community to mae a difference and we need you.
*name has been changed