Blog Home > Archive (January, 2018)

Let's #GiveFromTheHeart!

“Generosity is a practical expression of love.” – Gary Inrig

 

Long-time donors may remember when our annual campaign began and ended in the fall, creating a three-month whirlwind of fundraising. While we still kick off in the fall and host many workplace presentations before November, our fundraising efforts are now year-round. We do this to accommodate some of our valued partners who prefer this time frame and also because it is more fitting to our mission.

We are here to unite people to resources in an effort to strengthen everyone in our community. Our partner agencies can attest to the fact that the need is 24/7/365. We can’t focus our efforts on a specific time of year and hope to be effective. Our community, your community, needs the help year round.

Although we host Celebration in the spring to publicly ‘end’ our community drive, we also have major events nearly every quarter. Celebration will be followed by United Days of Caring (UDOC), April 27-28; our 31st annual golf tournament will occur as it always does on the first Friday of June, then we will be back to an August kickoff, and a fall of workplace giving.

While our workplace giving model is still our most relevant source of income, many of our initiatives are designed to inform more people about our work, especially those who do not learn about United Way in their workplace. One relatively new event is held during the month of February and is fittingly termed Give From The Heart (GFTH). In its third year, the ‘Give from the Heart’ campaign is an opportunity for the general public, small businesses, restaurants, and other United Way partners to continue sharing our mission while collecting additional funds for the annual campaign.

This year’s mini-campaign will kick off on February 1, when a variety of area businesses and organizations will begin selling hearts to customers for a minimum donation of $1. We are very grateful to the following businesses that have already committed to sell hearts to their customers throughout the month. We hope many more will be added!

  • Alliance Bank
  • Ameren MO
  • Banterra Bank
  • Bloom
  • Canine Clipz
  • Catapult
  • Commerce Bank
  • Culver’s Restaurant
  • Cup ‘N’ Cork

 

  • First Midwest Bank
  • Fox 23/KBSI
  • Ground-a-bout
  • Heartland Custom Flooring
  • High Street Station
  • Innovative Orthodontics
  • Jackson Tire
  • Judith’s Antiques & Gung Ho Militaria
  • Kuts Plus
  • Missouri Running Company
  • Mousse Salon & Spa
  • Old Town Cape
  • Reed’s Metals of Scott City
  • Smokehouse 61
  • Southern Bank
  • The Bank of Missouri
  • United Land Title

 

Other businesses plan to donate a percentage of sales through share events. We hope you will show support to all of these businesses who help our community, even if you can’t get there on the date of our event.  

  • Five Below will donate 10% of sales made between February 4-10. This is a great opportunity to let your kiddos know about how easy it is to give back when they purchase from one of their favorite stores. Be sure to share this flyer when checking out!
  • On Valentine’s Day, make plans to visit Buffalo Wild Wings in Cape! 10% of lunch and dinner sales will be donated back to United Way.
  • If you love wings, check our Facebook page for share days scheduled at Wings Etc. in both Cape and Jackson (dates TBD).
  • Still keeping up with your New Year’s resolutions? Visit our friends at Missouri Running Company on Saturday, February 24th for their Purchase with a Purpose fundraiser benefiting our Give from the Heart campaign!

Finally, be sure to join us at one of the two trivia nights being hosted by Cup ‘N’ Cork! The first will be Saturday, February 10th at 6pm and the second on Saturday, February 24th at 6pm. Entry fee is $10/player and you can have up to 6 players on your team. Proceeds from the event will be donated back to United Way of Southeast Missouri.

Like Gary Inrig said in the quote above, “generosity is a practical expression of love.” While we gear up for a very pink, loving, and chocolate-filled February, let’s not forget to share the love with those in our community who need it most. 
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A Community Living United

Do you know about The People’s Shelter, ABC Today and Tiger Lilies? Perhaps you are more familiar with The Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Central Middle School. The latter all have programs United Way of Southeast Missouri helps fund, and the first three are all worthy programs we do not invest in but support by connecting others. So much occurs behind the scenes in our community that many people who are not involved in the nonprofit world are unaware of the ongoing collaboration by so many worthwhile organizations.

Just in the last two weeks a meeting with a local business owner introduced me to a new program for female students at Central Middle School called Tiger Lilies. It was developed by the same counselor who helped launch the Honorable Young Men’s Club. Although we are very involved in the schools, I had not yet heard of this program, so of course, it was not on my meeting agenda. But just days later I was able to direct the women of Zonta, interested in providing mentoring to young women, to Tiger Lilies.

United Way staff members serve on Big Brothers Big Sisters’ ABC Today network, which is in every school in the Cape school district. Through our workplace campaigns and corporate sponsors, we are able to help them acquire partners and prizes to reward students, and they help us find desperately needed volunteers for our early literacy programs. They work with other mentoring programs we support, including the Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and the after-school program we sponsor at The Salvation Army, which helped start the Back to School fair for all area students.

The People’s Shelter is a grass roots effort started by St. James AME Church to provide emergency housing during the bitterly cold nights our region recently experienced. While the group successfully utilized social media to rally volunteers and request aid, I first learned of them through our association with the Cape Girardeau Ministerial Alliance. Although their contributions have not been as public, numerous churches in the area have quietly contributed significant funds and services. In the first 48 hours the shelter was operating, United Way utilized our network to acquire large electric stock pots from a local caterer and the ingredients to fill them with hot vegetable soup for several days. United Way donors assisted many other community volunteers and businesses to provide food, clothing, bedding, and even transportation. Now we are working together to prepare in advance of cold weather and establish a process for these organizations to work together in helping our homeless out of the cold.

We also are part of a Community Housing Committee tackling affordable housing for low-income families and individuals. Many of our partner agencies, including Habitat for Humanity, First Call for Help and the Community Caring Council, also are represented.

Housing has been discussed at length in the Long-Term Recovery Committee meetings I attend in Perryville. Our participation in this group, which directs funding for the families impacted by the 2017 tornado, has opened doors to businesses and individuals who can help us grow our presence and offerings in Perry County, while helping its citizens.

Another group I visit when my schedule allows brings together agencies focused on workforce development. This is a key component of strategic plans in many of the communities we serve and will be discussed as we begin revising ours.

We frequently hear people bemoaning “Death by meeting,” but for the most part, the many meetings I attend every week reinforce the strength and value of our network, even to those agencies that are not a funded part of it. These meetings demonstrate our mission every day: to be the leader in uniting people with resources to build a stronger and healthier community.
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