I hope this note finds you and yours safe and healthy.
This past Friday night, we had the opportunity to be a part of an exciting event that I’d like to share with you.
As my fellow coworkers and I enjoyed a night of baseball and collegiality, I looked around Truist Stadium and let it sink in that a year ago there was no baseball, no gatherings, no chances to socialize. There was a great deal of unknown about where we would be today. It was heartwarming to see the faces of our staff and members of the community, in real life (or IRL as the young folks say).
We truly have come far. Together, WE have. United Way, our community, partners, and donors have accomplished so much in the face of adversity. Friday night felt like the first time we have truly been able to celebrate that, and I found a great deal of appreciation for the moment to just let it sink it.
We were at the Dash game to celebrate our first ever Driving Forward Together Car Giveaway. Awarding a car to a donor is pretty exciting, but when I think about the 20 dealerships who came together to make the contest possible, I am astounded at living in a community where competitors become collaborators, all to create a better community. It makes me very hopeful about the future and reminds me that, together, we can move mountains. Individualism only takes you so far because we are just one drop, but UNITED, we are an ocean. A powerful force that can accomplish anything.
Our remote learning sites were a great example. None of us could have funded or implemented them alone – it took our many generous donors, partners, local businesses, and the community to provide the resources our children desperately needed during the pandemic. Hundreds of students were able to “attend” school as community organizations pivoted their programs to full-time and churches opened their doors to host sites for remote learning.
A number of organizations, including Imprints, YWCA, TURN, Urban League, YMCA and Liberty East Redevelopment collaborated with WS/FCS and The Forsyth Promise, a United Way initiative, to support small groups of students and mitigate barriers to remote learning by providing programs where students could access Wi-Fi, be supervised, and receive support.
Seventeen learning sites were able to answer the need because everyone joined in for the common good. Through collaboration, a framework to work together toward the goal of improved educational outcomes for students was built.
THANK YOU for being part of something bigger. Thank you for making real change possible.
And congratulations to the winner of our Driving Forward Together Car Giveaway, Gwen Parker! Gwen is a Teacher’s Assistant with WS/FCS. We are still glowing from the excitement of Friday night and the opportunity to bring our community together to solve problems no one organization can address alone.
As always, thank you for LIVING UNITED.
President and CEO of United Way of Forsyth County