My Day Job Isn't Cheerleading, But Here Goes...

So, even though it also feels like a guilty pleasure, I’m taking a quick break from campaign to give you an update on how we are doing. Busy. That word doesn’t even mean anything to me anymore. It’s more a state of being this time of year than it is a verb. For us to say we are “busy” this time of year, would be much like me saying “I’m wet” after I jumped in a lake. So what I’m trying to say is “thank-you” to all of the amazing volunteers that are in the trenches this year, we can’t do this without you.

Raising $21.5 million doesn’t just happen; the myriad of activity that happens prior to, during and after our main fund-raising push borders on insanity in my opinion. 544 workplaces that are facilitating United Way campaigns in the Alberta Capital Region!!!! 544, that is monumental and a testament to how much people and businesses here care. There is a subtle beauty to this highly organized chaos though, to see so many people come together to meet such a lofty objective is truly inspiring. One needs to take a step back every now and then for perspective; while it may feel like we are barely keeping our heads above water at times, if we look around us we will see an entire community helping us along.

So here we are about a month into campaign and we are already over a third of the way there!! 253 presentations, 158 Days of Caring and 1 Flash Mob while getting to this point! That is huge and applaud yourselves for helping us get this far… now stop applauding and get back to work, we ain’t there yet. While the dollars continue to come in, and workplace campaigns continue to kick off, we need to keep up our momentum.

There are so many in need in this community, and while one could say that the economy seems to be picking up, our agencies and those that are struggling won’t see the upside to that for some time. It’s unfortunate but its our local charities and community supports that are among the first to feel the pinch in a recession, but among the last to benefit from a boom. Let's change that trend in 2010. Gandhi had it right – be the change we want to see in this community. It’s contagious, I promise.

Keep it here kids – and keep it real.

Brandon Kelm is a Campaign Manager for United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.