Time. Talent. Treasure.
When you work for a charitable organization like United Way of Lancaster County these three words become the foundation for your work. Our mission is to mobilize the caring power of our community to achieve impactful, systemic social change within our community; however, the true fuel to our engine of change for Lancaster County is powered by the investment of all of us through our time, talent and treasure.
Recently, I had the opportunity to see how investments of time and talent serve as a catalyst for positive change throughout our county during United Way’s annual Day of Caring. This year, more than 1,500 volunteers gave of their time and talent at nearly 70 locations over the course of two days. Giving their time for a morning, afternoon or even a few hours, volunteers showed their talents at tasks ranging from organizing books at their local library to operating chain saws to clear debris caused by storm damage in a county park.
It was a beautiful weekend to give back to Lancaster County nonprofits without having to open your wallet. However, through all the smiles, paint smears and dirty elbows, there was one project that showed me that volunteering is about more than just giving your time and talent for a few hours; it can also be about inspiring those around you to see the value in this work.
On Saturday, September 9, Luther Acres, a Luthercare Community, hosted a project for Armstrong World Industries employees to help with a bowling challenge for their residents – one of which, Mim, is Luther Acres’ oldest resident at 110. It’s not your typical Day of Caring project; however, it’s one that Mindy Shellenberger, Events Specialist with Armstrong World Industries, and her family greatly enjoyed. She recently shared with me a few words about her family’s experience:
Our family has participated in the United Way’s Day of Caring many times over the years. We believe that it is important to not only volunteer to help others, but also to help ourselves. It continues to keep us humble and remind us of all the blessings we can provide (and receive) on a daily basis.
This is never more evident than when you hear it from a child who has their entire life ahead of them to make a difference and their perspective of helping others is, “I can’t wait until the next time.” I can personally attest to the wonderful pride I felt as a mother when our son did just that. When we were getting ready on Saturday morning, my son was grumbling, “You drug me out of bed so early on a Saturday morning. I am still tired. I forgot my iPad.”…blah, blah, blah. When we were driving home from Day of Caring, he said, “I can’t wait to go back next year. By then, Mim will be 111½”.
Thank you, Mindy, for sharing your story. And I can’t wait to see you and your family bowling with Mim next year. To all our volunteers, thank you for giving of your time and talent to make our community a better place to live. Because United we fight, United we all win.
Story Submitted by:
Marketing & Communications Associate
United Way of Lancaster County