The meaning of community is far more than sharing geographical proximity or a common goal, characteristic, attitude or interest. Instead, the term’s true embodiment is exemplified in those who give of themselves for the betterment of others.
At a time when the world around us often divides rather than unites and promotes self-interest over selflessness, the success of the Lafayette-Oxford-University (LOU) community depends on us working together, even when we do not always agree.
In cultivating a sense of “we” rather than you versus me, our community can be a beacon of light that offers hope to local residents, especially those in need. However, our ability to achieve sustainable success depends on a shared willingness to take the step from “why” to “we” to serve as well as support our community.
The “why” for one person might be different than the “why” for another, but the “we” is where we come together as one. I have been blessed to work with so many amazing people during my time with the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County. However, my main regret is not having the privilege to partner with even more as I know the meaningful difference each person on our outstanding team of donors, partners, volunteers and advocates makes as we work hand in hand to provide opportunities for everyone in our community to succeed.
If you are not already a member of our local United Way team, I encourage you to join with me and countless others by investing in our community through your time, talent and resources. No contribution is too small to make a significant impact and every investment yields incredible returns as our organization partners to improve health, advance education, promote financial stability and meet basic needs within the LOU community.
A donation of a few dollars is enough to pay for a free book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library or a meal through the Meals on Wheels program. An hour volunteering could change a person’s life by letting him or her know someone cares. Even something as easy as sharing a post on social media can produce positive outcomes by connecting others to the assistance they need. The key is simply to act and to do so in a way that will benefit others.
It only takes a little to make a lot of difference and our organization is proud to partner with so many generous individuals, businesses, organizations and public entities to advance our mission to improve lives and meet community needs by uniting people and resources. Whether you wish to support all of our funded programs or designate your contribution to only one, the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County wants to collaborate with you. Visit unitedwayoxfordms.org/invest to learn the many ways you can help offer hope to thousands of local citizens in need.
Epitomize the true meaning of community and be one of the “we” who gives for the betterment of Oxford and Lafayette County.
Kurt Brummett is the executive director of the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County. You can reach him at email@example.com.