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Off to a Strong Start

By Matt Ernst, 2018 Loaned Executive Vice-Chair

A strong start is critical to accomplishing any significant goal. It’s true in business, in sports, and certainly for everyone working on this year’s United Way Annual Campaign.

At the Loaned Executive training retreat, Campaign Chairman Doug Hensley shared how he trained for his first half marathon. Doug is a talented and motivating speaker. He likely could have found several other fitting comparisons for the work ahead of us. But the journey of a long run fits perfectly. Keeping with that theme, the JumpStart Division has already left the start line.

The JumpStart Division runs workplace campaigns from June to August. Our division has the solid foundation of companies that have run campaigns during this time for several years. These donors are accustomed to a summer workplace campaign. Additionally, we have welcomed a few new campaigns this year taking part in the early start.

Each year at the Campaign Kickoff Luncheon, when we announce generous donations of people and companies that participate in JumpStart, it’s a shining example of what we all can accomplish in the months ahead. Late November may seem like the distant future. It’s cliché, but the Victory Report will be here before you know it. Campaign volunteers understand we need to get moving as soon as possible. The momentum of a successful JumpStart spreads to our other divisions.

When we ask to visit a workplace all we want is a little bit of time. Of course, our goal is to raise money. But we simply ask for a few minutes to share the story of United Way. It’s inspiring that even before the big campaign kickoff when we walk into offices we’re greeted by many people who know United Way. They’ve supported for years. But what also is remarkable is new stories of people who’ve given for years and now have their own United Way story. Either they or a friend or family member have been helped. We are appreciative of the many West Texans who have welcomed us to run a campaign this summer. Thank you to Citibus, City Bank, Covenant Health, Kinetico of West Texas, NTS Communications, PlainsCapital Bank, Primitive Social, and United Supermarkets for inviting us to share the United Way story through your JumpStart campaigns.

Thanks also go to volunteers working in the JumpStart Division. I’ve gotten to know each member of our team as a Loaned Executive in previous years. Through the craziness of summer, each one of these individuals is committed to helping reach our campaign goal.

The campaign is only a few months out of the year. JumpStart is a few weeks out of the summer. But United Way’s help is year-round. We have some great news to report at the Campaign Kickoff Luncheon. I hope to see you there.

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