From the Director's Desk...
Thank you for being the UNITED WAY. You/we represent the collective caring power of our community. You have made my first year one worthy of remembrance and we should be CELEBRATING! What a Community! Your hearts, generosity and actions speak of the true spirit of our people - our community. Thank you for adopting me and my wife Sharon! BUT... Before we move any further, I have to give special recognition to the bedrock of our organization – Carolina Seymour and our AmeriCorps Member John Gray for the super job he has done with the Coach A Kid program. Because of John, we are looking at expanding into the middle schools next year.
In addition to CAK, most of us are familiar with many of the outstanding programs and services provided by our partner agencies. “Community Impact” is what they provide; I always say - changing lives and saving people every day. Yes, a great deal of GOOD deeds and acts shown to many who are hurting in this world. Our partner agencies effectively provide resources, compassion, and deliver every day the meeting of human service needs to so many in our region. Over a million alone this past year...
Let me just share a couple of their stories. Most recently our American Red Cross – serving NW OK, has been providing numerous meals to more than 500 first responders each day for the past 2 weeks and are continuing to serve as the fires burn on in Dewey, Major and Woodward counties. Our newest agency, Loaves and Fishes, had one individual who said “I like the friendly people at Loaves & Fishes who treat me with dignity. It helps us during times of struggles, such as now. Without this program, we may very well go hungry. I can’t afford meat and fresh fruit and I love that Loaves & Fishes always has those items.”
And finally, a story about one young homeless family where CDSA made all the difference in their lives - Tina and her two young daughters were homeless when they came to CDSA. They had been living in their car after Tina lost a job and expended all her resources. The CDSA housing counselor placed Tina and the girls into the agency emergency shelter apartment and helped Tina to write out a plan for steps she would have to take to become self-sufficient. The counselor and Tina met every week to talk about how things were going and brainstorm about what next steps would be. Shortly after moving into shelter, Tina became employed as a manager in a retail store. After three months, she had saved enough money to rent her own place. And with help from CDSA, she located housing and moved from the shelter. She’s still holding the job and taking care of her girls today, nearly one year later. All of the positive outcomes to these stories only happened because of you and your support!
On behalf of our staff, board, partner agencies and community, I want to express our great appreciation for your efforts. I know your generosity in making all that we do possible was not without personal expense, sacrifice, commitment and consideration. So, GOD BLESS you for your selfless acts of kindness and concern for others.
- Dan Schiedel
From the Board President...
As the incoming President, I am determined that my passion (and hopefully yours) for “Living United” will continue to grow and become a dynamic network within our community. A network that professionals, volunteers, businesses and families can explore and expand. What we do definitely takes some hard work, but it is really good work, and as a team we can make a greater difference. I am excited to see what this next chapter has in store for all of us.
As we go through this journey together, just know that I truly appreciate what each and everyone here does to make a difference for others. Thank you!
- Lynn Ballard