United Way of Central Indiana would like to thank the 13 Central Indiana residents who volunteered their time to take part in the "Good News" video we will be releasing exclusively through Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday, December 1st. The video, produced by Chad Richards of Firebelly Marketing, challenges people to "share" the video with their families, friends, and online followers in an effort to spread the word about United Way of Central Indiana's LIVE UNITED GIVE UNITED CAMPAIGN.
The participants (in no particular order) include: Linda Broadfoot of Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Inc.; Brandon Prebynski of Pearson Education; Trevor Yager of TrendyMinds; Katie Garvey of Hubbard and Cravens; Joe Vuskovich of Yats; Dorothy Henckel of the Indianapolis International Film Festival; Lindsay Manfredi of Linzstar; Anthony Ware of S4X Ventures; Mari Yamaguchi of WXIN FOX 59; Ryan Hickey of ORANJE; Kyle Lacy of Brandswag; Scott Krueckeberg of the band Mardelay; and Nicki Laycoax of Squish Designs.
Editor's note: United Way was fortunate enough to have Natalie Koriath join us for the past three months as a Loaned Executive. The following comments were taken from a post to her internal blog at Eli Lilly and Company.
During a 1:1 with my supervisor back in July, he mentioned that I had been selected to be a part of this year's "Loaned Executive" program to the United Way of Central Indiana. My response? "Ummm sounds neat, but what does it mean?" Through talking to a few people here at Lilly, I got a better feel for what it meant, but I'd like to share more about it with you all here...
From Aug. 24 - Nov. 13, I functioned as an employee of United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI). My office moved to the "LE bullpen" (a roughly 20'x40' room that 13 of us shared) at 3901 N. Meridian, and short of checking my BlackBerry a few times a day for new emails and seeing Lilly deposit my paycheck, I had little to nothing to do with Eli Lilly and Company for 12 weeks.
While I love this company, it was GREAT to be away. My new job specifically was to work with 24 companies with employees in Marion County to run their UWCI campaigns to raise funds for next year. Additionally, I had the pleasure of tracking down another 20 or so companies and attempt to solicit new business campaigns.
Anyway, there are a few main points I want to mention as my take-aways from this wonderful experience:
(1) I gained a much deeper knowledge of the UWCI mission, programs and agencies. Lilly runs an excellent campaign internally but regardless of how wonderfully our Ambassadors do, it's hard to really give everyone a complete picture of how the UWCI functions. The mission just makes total sense to me now: "Addressing today's needs and reducing tomorrow's."
I look at it this way:
- We aim to address today's needs by supporting more than 100 local agencies. I had NO idea there were so many, nor did I realize how many I actually know. I loved learning about so many of them and grew particularly fond of Second Helpings, MCCOY, Kids' Voice, Starfish, TherAplay and Lutheran Family Services. What's even neater (in my geeky math brain at least) is seeing exactly how much our gifts help each agency, by checking out the online agency directory.
- We address tomorrow's needs by running a multitude of programs aimed at getting kids into school "Ready to Learn" and leave school "Ready to Earn". Our city will only be as strong as our youth so I love that we're investing so heavily in order for Indianapolis to continue to thrive. The program I really loved with these initiatives is the Early Readers Club. For only $20 a year, 3 books are mailed each quarter straight to your home, and they are age-appropriate for your children. This program evolved from a study which showed children entering school from middle- to upper-income households were read to for 1000-1700 hours from birth until entering school, whereas kids from lower income families were read to for just 25 hours IN SIX YEARS. One of the root causes was a lack of books in the home, so this program aims to address that program, and does so very successfully!
(2) Lilly's view on corporate social responsibility is something we should all be proud of. I now realize how much I have taken for granted how committed we are as a company to our community, and that's truly a reflection of the employees as well! To give some comparison, Lilly's employees gave $6 million, which was matched by the Lilly Foundation for a record $12 million gift...and my 24 companies, representing roughly 1,200 employees had a goal of $164,096, including corporate matches, which are incredibly uncommon. Where Lilly really excels, though, is the year-round commitment to all the other programs, like ReadUP, Backpack Attack and Day of Service projects at UWCI agencies, to name a few.
(3) Clearly, I'm guilty of complaining about the technology at Lilly but in reality, our technical solutions are very good compared to the non-profit world. It's nice to know that UWCI really doesn't over-spend on things like this, since that would equate to less money to the community. And then, there was the "P drive". Anyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with utilizing collaboration sites and do not approve of attaching documents to email unless in extreme cases. However, UWCI doesn't have an intranet that's equipped for file sharing! Within the first few days, I knew this was going to drive me crazy so I discovered there was in fact an internal LAN with a drive that was loosely being used to share documents - the P drive. I very quickly grew to love the P drive, and shared my love for the ability to share files with my LE friends and the rest of the staff. I taught people how to create shortcuts to make life even easier, and feel like I helped future generations of LEs by providing a good resource library of documents. It's actually quite amazing how impressed and happy people get with a very simple IT solution like using the P drive!
(4) Lastly, my new LE friends... what an amazing group! I was only one of 17 LEs, with others being sponsored or loaned by other companies with a similar community commitment, like Herff Jones, FedEx, UPS, St. Vincent Health, Citizens Gas and Vectren (hopefully I'm not leaving anyone out!), as well as two other Lilly colleagues, Melissa Humbert and Janet Potts. It was an incredibly diverse group, some with much experience in this area, but most were like me, who didn't know anything about fundraising but brought our own strengths and personal experiences. I feel so fortunate to have met this wonderful group who I probably wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise! And, going back to the bullpen reference -- you can imagine how much "knowledge sharing" happened in a room with 13 people.
I can't possibly capture all the memories about this experience in a blog, but the bottom line is that the experience was fantastic, and I am so grateful to have been nominated. If you are interested, certainly talk to your supervisor. I would also highly recommend considering utilizing UWCI resources for team-building events -- there is a great program to set up teams for agency tours and meeting space there, as well as volunteer opportunities for teams!
United Way campaign volunteers and ambassadors at Eli Lilly and Company who planned and implemented the company’s 2009 fundraising campaign gathered at the Baxter YMCA on Mon., Nov. 16 to celebrate their success. Their combined efforts reached 27,934 employees and retirees and raised more than $12 million. Read more.
If Monday’s announcement that Eli Lilly and Company and its employees pledged $1 million MORE than they did last year during the United Way campaign makes you to scratch your head and ask, “How did they DO that?” you might want to read this story. It is from a Lilly vice president who describes a moment in which he decided to increase his own gift and why. Dr. Heath shared his decision with his team. He’s given us permission to share it too.
"Why is that man standing on the street corner with a sign asking for food?"
This is the question my young daughter recently asked me as we were driving down the road not that far from our house. In a moment like this, what does any parent say? How do you explain this kind of situation in terms that a young girl will understand?
My response: "He probably doesn't have a job and wants people to help him."
She considers briefly and then asks: "If he doesn't have a job where does he live?" Okay, at this point I'm getting uncomfortable.
My response: "He probably doesn't have a home."
She then asked: "Why is no one stopping to help him?"
I responded: "Sometimes people don't know what to do in this kind of situation."
Her response was thunderous --- "THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!! PEOPLE SHOULD HELP EACH OTHER!!!"
Ahhh, if life was only as simple as seen through the eyes of a child. Yet in her emotional outburst she touched upon the truth of the matter...people do need to help each other.
So here we are starting up this year's United Way campaign. Communications are in full swing about the campaign and employees are being encouraged to participate. The full impact of the economic downturn is being felt across the country and people are in need. Yet there is uncertainty in the hearts of many Lilly employees particularly in light of the recent announcements. Concern for their own well being and the well being of their families. How easy is it to consider the needs of others in the face of that uncertainty?
As in years before, I simply ask you to consider opening your hearts to the needs of others. I accept that each of us comes to the United Way campaign with different perspectives and different concerns. Yet the signs of need are all around us. That man on the street corner is multiplied many times over across our communities. Children go to school wanting to learn but oftentimes lacking the necessities to facilitate learning. Young mothers seeking to improve themselves and the lives of their families through education find barriers as opposed to open doors.
I am proud of the efforts of PR&D employees in their support of the community. Your work to collect food for needy families, clothing, school supplies all make a difference. You volunteer your time at a multitude of agencies and other charitable groups. Your participation in the Day of Service was outstanding. Now is the time to continue that strong service to the community through the United Way campaign.
After some consideration I have decided to increase my pledge for 2010 by 20% compared to this year's contribution. I share this with each of you not because I expect you to follow in kind - after all each of us has to consider our family circumstances and other obligations. Rather I want you to know that I am 'walking the talk' with respect to support for United Way. Also this is a reflection of the lesson I learned from a child far younger than myself who in a moment of clarity provided me with a powerful reminder of why this all matters.
We have our challenges at Lilly, but as John Lechleiter noted, our concerns pale in comparison to the issues faced by many of our fellow citizens in the community. Please join me in supporting United Way in order to help our neighbors. Thank you.
--Bill Heath, Eli Lilly and Company
Also, read the news release on Lilly's 2009 campaign.
A colleague of mine and his wife recently became parents of multiples. One day he commented to me that his new status as a father had immediately become the first thing mentioned whenever he was introduced to someone new.
He observed that single fact seemed to take precedence over any other aspect of both his personal and his professional life.
If a person has a brand identity, suddenly his was that he was a father of triplets. No other academic or professional milestones or achievements that show up on his resume could compete with that new definition.
That got me thinking about how an organization acquires a brand identity and how tough it is to change it.
In the case of United Way, the reputation earned over nine decades is that United Way primarily raises money in the workplace for local human service needs.
As in my friend’s case, it’s not a bad rep. But it’s far from complete. United Way does so much more than that. But more importantly, it’s a reputation that doesn’t come across as inclusive as it should.
Do we expect everyone to know all that United Way does? Not really.
But we would like folks to know that despite the constant drum beat of bad news they see and hear everywhere these days, they are not powerless to help make GOOD news.
And they can do that through United Way.
You may be retired. Or you may work at home. Or you might even work somewhere that does not give employees an opportunity to give to United Way. You can still be a part of a six-county strong effort to help your neighbors who are hurting today.
And you can still be a part of an ambitious education agenda designed to make our community stronger down the road.
That’s the reason we’ve created LiveUnitedGiveUnited.org. It’s a place where anyone of any age or circumstance can visit and be invited to LIVE UNITED.
The bottom line? Like my friend the new dad, we’re not unhappy about the image most folks have of United Way. We just want everyone to know that it’s not the WHOLE picture. And we definitely want everyone to know that we welcome them. In fact we NEED them to join us in making good news!
-- Mary Kinney, United Way
I had the privilege of hearing Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint, speak to a leadership group within that company today and I was moved by the poem she shared. She said that one of the mentors early in her career shared this poem with her as a way to stay focused on what is important in life and in leadership. Enjoy!
-- Lucy Downton, United Way
The Dash Poem
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
With schoolwork, video games, TV and the Internet competing for a kid’s attention these days, I figured it was going to take something or someone pretty spectacular to make the students at Francis Parker School #56 take notice. Enter Colts players Ramon Humber (#59) and Cody Glenn (#52). The two were visiting as part of the Colts Community Tuesday program and United Way of Central Indiana’s ReadUP tutoring program. Students gave the players a hearty welcome, chanting, “WE LOVE THE COLTS!” over and over as Humber and Glenn entered the gymnasium.
The two read aloud Family Huddle, a new children’s book about Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. They then turned to the audience for some questions, which ranged from, “Have you ever broken a leg?” (Yikes!) to “How many games have you won?” (7 and 0, baby!)
After the Q & A, the ReadUP students had the opportunity to meet with Humber and Glenn in the library for some photo opps and an autograph session. They also talked more about school and why reading is so important. At one point, the kids were going around the room, saying what they wanted to be when they grew up. Aside from athletes, there were a few doctors, lawyers and teachers – all very respectable professions. But one boy really stood out to me when he raised his hand and said he wanted to be an author. (Yay! Working in communications, that’s something I love to hear.) He even ran to his locker and brought back a book he had written. I was so impressed! Not only did he write The Lost Continent, but he illustrated it, too.
To his delight, Humber and Glenn signed the book, then the boy put it on the shelf for the other students to read. I was smiling ear-to-ear at this point. You see, I’m a newbie at United Way. I just started last week and had no idea the number of people, both children and adults, who are touched by our programs and agencies. It truly is amazing to see the amount of work that goes into the success of programs like ReadUP and those, like this boy, who have clearly been positively affected by it. It makes me very proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization.
I didn’t get a chance to ask the boy’s name before I left. But something tells me that one day, I’m going to be at Borders or Barnes and Noble and see him signing his bestseller. Heck, there might even be some Colts players in line to get their copy.
-- Amber Striegel, United Way