My first memory of fundraising goes back to elementary school in rural Saskatchewan. I was in grade three and participating in Jump Rope for Heart. After asking family to sponsor me, my parents took me door to door to get more pledges and the amazing thing is….everyone I asked gave without hesitation from $2 to $5, it quickly added up. So in grade three my WIIFM was prizes that were awarded for different levels of pledges – in my case, it was a braided skipping rope and a backpack because the more money I raised, the cooler the prizes I could win. And at that age, of course it was all about getting cool stuff.
It was all so simple back then, but life changes as you grow up and so does your WIIFM. In my early twenties being a university student it was all about money ,or lack thereof. I remember being asked to donate on numerous occasions and to various causes and charities, but with my tiny budget and already on a Kraft dinner diet, I didn’t feel I had any extra to give. Instead I gave my time and found what areas interested me and that I wanted to help make a difference in. My WIIFM was that it felt good to do something, it was a way that I could afford to give back and let’s face it, at that age knowing that I was graduating soon and needing a job, it looked great on a resume.
As I became more established in my career, I was in a position to start contributing financially. As an individual, it is hard to decide where to donate my money. Everytime I turn around I am asked to give, from friends who are in various walks/runs, organizations I volunteer for, at the till at the grocery store and the list goes on.
That is why I chose to donate my money to United Way because it is not a one cause organization. By giving to United Way it allows me a chance to invest my money, time and energy into an array of programs and services that hit a multitude of social issues focusing on Education, Income and Wellness.
We deal with complex social issues in our community that did not happen overnight so how can we expect to fix them immediately. What I do know is that I want to live in a safer, healthier and better community and that I want my family and friends to have this as well. I am fortunate to donate and work at an organization where each and every day I see first hand the return on my investment and the difference that is being made in people’s lives.
So I ask the question…..why do you get involved? What’s in it for you?
To find out more about the social issues United Way supports or to donate please visit www.myunitedway.ca