November 17, 2019 | Source: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
By Sharon Hyde Bass, Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Lubbock
I regularly hear devastating stories of people in our community .... abuse and violence from someone they trust, loss of health, loss of income...lack of skills to lift themselves and their families out of an endless cycle of poverty...and so much more.
Thanks to Lubbock Area United Way and its network of community partners, many of these needs are being addressed. There are affordable counseling services to listen and guide and lift; safe places to help when you’ve been beaten by your partner or abused by a trusted adult; people to help you learn to read; places offering health care; safe places for childcare; and training and support to turn your life – your family’s life – around.
Often a family receives services from several of the United Way’s Community Partners. The collaboration among the 23 agencies is inspiring. For instance, a family that has experienced the trauma of domestic violence could find a safe place to regroup at Women’s Protective Services; access legal assistance through Legal Aid; find counseling help through Family Counseling Services; receive health care through the Lubbock Children’s Health Clinic; learn new job skills at Goodwill; connect with mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters; utilize affordable childcare through Early Learning Centers; tap into quality after-school programs at Guadalupe-Parkway Neighborhood Centers, YWCA or the Boys and Girls Club; and be supported by volunteers at all of these places from the Volunteer Center. All the ways these United Way agency collaborations play out, strengthen the people needing help and the very essence of what it means to be community.
Last year, United Way impacted the lives of more than 120,000 people through funded services - from the youngest to the oldest - covering a wide range of needs. I represent one of those partnering agencies.
At the Volunteer Center of Lubbock, we exist to inspire a more engaged community by helping people find their purpose and act on it. While we do have huge and sometimes devastating needs in our community, there are plenty of people who want to help. Last year at the Volunteer Center we helped connect over 49,000 people to their purpose.
We do that by nurturing a culture of service and developing the next generation of leaders. Everything we do is done in partnerships with individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations.
We were started 30 years ago because United Way saw the need to connect people with needs. Our core purpose hasn’t changed, and we have grown. It is exhilarating, hopeful work. But we – like each of the 22 other partnering agencies – quite simply could not do what we do without the funding support of United Way.
This year the campaign theme is “Rise together, so no one stands alone.” Thanks to United Way, people in challenging circumstances are offered hope. They are offered a way to change their story and the needed resources to build a resilient future. Here, no one has to stand alone.
For more information, contact us at 806-747-0551 or visit our website at www.volunteerlubbock.org . How can we help you connect to your purpose?