Success Stories

Mai’er

“I WANT TO BE ABLE TO HELP PEOPLE WHEN I GET OLDER.”

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Holly

“I DECIDED IT WAS TIME TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY.”

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Reggie

“I WAS NEVER MADE TO FEEL ASHAMED.”

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Fred

“SERVING TOGETHER IS A MEANINGFUL EXPERIENCE.”

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Gretchen

“VOLUNTEERING HAS CHANGED MY STORY.”

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Jenny

“LET’S GO FOR A WALK!”

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Mary

“THE WORK THEY ARE DOING IN OUR SCHOOLS IS TRANSFORMING YOUNG LIVES AND I’M SO GRATEFUL TO BE A PART OF THAT.”

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Autumn

“WITHOUT THE [SUPPORT OF] UNITED WAY, I DON’T THINK S.N.A.P. WOULD BE AS GREAT AS THEY ARE.”

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Leonce

“I WANT TO HELP OTHER KIDS WITH DISABILITIES LEARN.”

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Julie

“I’VE BEEN SO HAPPY SINCE GETTING MY OWN PLACE. NOTHING CAN BREAK MY JOY!”

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Audrey

“SHERRY AT THE YWCA HELPED ME MOVE ON AND PROGRESS. SHE LISTENED WITHOUT BEING JUDGMENTAL, AND SHE REALLY CARED.”

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Radiance

“BEFORE THE YMCA, I COULDN’T GET MY MIND STRAIGHT TO FINISH SCHOOL. THEY’RE HELPING TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.”

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Shonna

“THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS GAVE MY KIDS A FREE PLACE TO GO SO THAT I COULD COMPLETE MY NURSING DEGREE.”

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Tony

“I’VE BECOME MORE GENEROUS AND AWARE BECAUSE OF MY TIME HERE.”

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Sam

“I’M LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO USE MY PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS TO CONNECT WITH MY COMMUNITY AND HELP OUT.”

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Beverly

“I KNOW MY CALLING. I WANT TO HELP THE ELDERLY BY BECOMING A HOME HEALTH AIDE.”

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Leona

“IF YOU HAVE A HEART FOR CHILDREN, YOU’RE CAPABLE OF BEING A FOSTER PARENT.”

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Corrie

“IT WAS VERY HELPFUL HAVING THIS PERSON IN MY LIFE WHO HAD BEEN THERE TO HELP ME DO THE RIGHT THING.”

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Jeff

“IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH MORE THAN A PHONE CALL AND A COUPLE OF VOLUNTEERS.”

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Bradshaws

“WE’RE HOLDING OUR OWN NOW. OUR HEADS ARE FINALLY ABOVE WATER.”

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Charmica

“NOW I’M ON MY WAY. I FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF. I FEEL LIKE I CAN BE A PROVIDER FOR MY CHILDREN.”

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Fanny

“I WANT TO GIVE HER THE BEST START POSSIBLE BECAUSE SHE LOVES TO LEARN AND WE WANT TO KEEP FEEDING THAT LOVE.”

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Armed with cookies, artwork and grateful hearts, United Way representatives fanned out across the region last week to deliver messages of appreciation to area businesses and organizations.

A dozen teams, which included staff, corporate volunteers and community partners, deployed to honor 75 recipients during the four-day United Way Thank You Road Show, recognizing their contributions as volunteers and donors for United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.

“We wanted to personally thank these organizations for their generosity and engagement,” said Kevin Lobo, chairman and CEO of Stryker, UWBCKR Board member and 2017 campaign chair. “Their leadership and contributions are making a tremendous impact in our community.”

Lobo was among 11 business leaders who took part in the road show. He presented awards at three locations: First National Bank, Schupan & Sons, and Family Health Center.

cookiesRecipients at each tour stop received framed artwork created by clients of YWCA Kalamazoo, Haven of Rest Ministries, Voces, MRC Industries or Community Healing Center – all United Way partners. Many also had the opportunity to hear testimony from an agency representative and receive a personal thank-you from a corporate leader.

“We know that a company’s compassion lives and breathes through its employees who donate to United Way, volunteer for service projects and advocate for our impact work,” said Chris Sargent, Interim CEO of United Way. “Honoring them directly is the least we can do on behalf of the thousands who benefit in our community.”

The tour replaced United Way’s former practice of hosting an annual recognition dinner, with the aim of reaching a greater number of employees.

“We feel that this approach is unique in that we can personally show our appreciation to more people,” Sargent said.

To see photos from the tour stops, visit our Facebook page, check out our photo album and feel free to tag or share!