by Jeannie Weber, Executive Director
Today my friend and office manager, Tia Walters and I delivered checks to some of the recipients of Warren County United Way’s Helen Bersted Memorial Grant. Visiting the organizations we are able to serve is a gift; making the holidays shine a little brighter by delivering checks for thousands of dollars is absolutely incredible. It can only happen due to the Len G. Everett endowment. This endowment, which was given to Warren County United Way, funds our administrative expenses --- and --- provides us with extra opportunity for giving over and above our annual campaign, with opportunities like the Helen Bersted Memorial Grant.
Anyone who works in the area of non-profit is not in it for the money, in spite of what a few of the uninformed might think. We are coming into work every day to change someone else’s life. It is a vocation for those who realize the elegance of humanity. It is a vocation that is priceless.
This season brings evidence, especially to all of us who work to help others, that if we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and water to drink, we have everything we need. It is evidenced by the numerous calls we receive from desperate families looking for those basics, particularly this time of year.
Rainbow Riders was one of our stops this morning. Tia had never been there, and it was an absolute joy to witness her seeing a place where so many children with developmental disabilities, as well as the volunteers who work with them, are able to grow in physical and Spriritual strength. Karen Angotti, who founded Rainbow Riders with her husband Joe, was happy to take the time to show Tia everything they have created for others, including a new fence that would not have been built without the gift we were able to present. Karen is an exquisite force of nature, and her vocation has changed thousands of lives over the years.
The three of us would take the rolling hills, beautiful horses, and acres of fence over a large corporate building any day. While we positioned ourselves atop the fence and tried desperately to take a selfie, I realized that in our blue jeans and boots, we were much more glamourous than any socialite ever could be. Our energy and the love we have for others shone an extraordinary, real light.
That is the thing about this kind of work. The joy and the light comes from simple places. The prestige comes from counting the number of people whose lives have improved as a result of our work. And, the weight of our wallets is sizeable, when we include the value of service to others.
It is an honor to concentrate every day on how to reach more people; it is also an honor to share that commitment with others like Tia and Karen. I want to thank this small yet enormous community for allowing that to happen.
Wishing everyone a lovely holiday and bountiful new year.