Monday, January 27, 2014

What are You Doing for Others?

United Way
of Greater Philadelphia
and Southern New Jersey
Live United - United Way
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“Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As a new year gets underway, many of us are looking for ways to improve, but how many of us are really challenging ourselves to improve the lives of others?
January is National Mentoring Month, and what better resolution could you make than to engage in work that creates lasting Impact for someone else? At United Way, we believe there is no better investment than education and supporting innovative work to improve the quality of life for children.
Look at the work of our Impact Partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern PA. Big Brother Jeffrey* has mentored Little Brother Dennis* since 2008. Dennis’ mother, Sheila*, was looking for support to help her son, who was having problems in school. Jeffrey and Dennis quickly hit it off, regularly meeting for games of chess or going out for a bite to eat. Bonded by a mutual love of sports, especially basketball, the relationship has proven to be a win-win. Dennis is performing better in school and Jeffrey has developed a greater sense of community, realizing just how impactful one person can be.
This story highlights the importance of mentoring. As a mentor, I know firsthand how rewarding this can be. And there are countless youth whose lives could be positively impacted by someone like you. Because of you, a young person could be set on a path to a rewarding future rather than destined to a life of unfulfilled promise.
And remember, mentoring isn’t one size fits all. Some people enjoy a longtime commitment like Jeffrey, but you can be just as impactful by asking a middle school student about her plans for college or talking with an elementary student about his favorite book. Simply put, mentoring is all about a positive connection between a young person and a caring adult. We have a variety of resources to help you find the right fit, so if you’re not a mentor now, I encourage you to get on board and make 2014 the year you truly create Impact.
*Names changed to protect privacy
Jill Michal
President and CEO
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

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