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February 2, 2015

Don't Feed the Bully

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As bystanders, we’ve watched it happen and done nothing.  Kids being mean to other kids – saying cruel things, putting others down, perhaps even physically abusing their companions.  Do you write it off as the way kids are, or do you do something to stop it?  In the past, common wisdom was to “let kids be kids”.  Let’s change the way we deal with bullying.  Say something – do something – when you see a child being bullied.  The benefits are significant, and may be life-long.

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January 26, 2015

Great Need for Long-Term Volunteers

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I’ve been on staff with United Way now for about five months and wow….what a journey it has been so far.! With most of my time dedicated to the Volunteer Center, I’ve delighted in going around to our member agencies to learn more about their organizations and their specific volunteer needs.  Even though I live in this community and have spent my entire career working in the nonprofit world, I continue to be amazed at the diverse organizations that make up our nonprofit sector in Sheboygan County. What a caring and generous community we all call home.

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January 21, 2015

Letter to the Editor: United Way Campaign Winding Down with High Hopes of Great Success

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It’s looking good. Although we have not completely wrapped up our annual effort, we are confident we will reach, and quite possibly exceed, our $2.5 million dollar target. To date, $2.3 million dollars is in house with some of our major firms still wrapping up their workplace campaigns. We are so thankful to the thousands of individuals and the 200+ local businesses that participated in our 2014 campaign and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank this generous community for your support.

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January 19, 2015

Are You Looking for Something to Do on Wednesday, January 28th?

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It was a cold November afternoon.  No, I was not at a Packer game.  I was standing outside watching a volunteer fire department attempt to put out a fire.  The water holding tanks were starting to freeze, the fire fighters were struggling to stay warm while they cut through the slate roof with saws.  Smoke was billowing out of the house and flames could be seen through the second floor windows. When the fire was finally out, we no longer had a roof over our heads.  Nor did the six teenage boys, ages 12 – 17 years, living with us at the residential treatment center.  For the next few weeks, we all double bunked at another home administered by the residential treatment center that employed us as house parents.  Four adults, 14 teenage boys, one 2-year old and two dogs shared a five bedroom, 2 bath home.  As we worked to ensure the boys would be either moved back home or to other residential treatment programs, it dawned on my husband and I that soon we would be both homeless and unemployed.  Fortunately this unexpected event, the house fire, led us back to Sheboygan – our home town.

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January 13, 2015

Not Your Grandmother's United Way, Part Two

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Last week, our column talked about transition: the transition from the traditional United Way model (raising as much money as possible and distributing it to affiliate agency programs doing good things in the community) to the Impact Investment Model, focusing on a small number of specific issues and fixing them.

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January 5, 2015

Not Your Grandmother's United Way, Part One

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United Ways around the country and, indeed, the world have been in various states of transition for more than a decade. Sheboygan County’s is no different. In the grand scheme of things there are two distinct models of operation: Traditional Agency Funding and Impact Investment Funding and a full spectrum of variations in-between.

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December 29, 2014

Many Happy Returns

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Many happy returns!  This traditional greeting for the New Year wishes everyone happiness and prosperity for many years to come.  As we begin another new year, all of us at United Way of Sheboygan County hope that our community will continue to prosper and that all of its citizens may be fed, educated and healthy.

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December 22, 2014

Living United, All Year Long

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Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays! Whatever your holiday greeting, for many, this time of year inspires many with feelings of generosity and warm wishes. For most charitable organizations, 25-50% of contributions are made between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and volunteerism is prevalent this time of year. Surely most of you have seen at least one volunteer bell ringer helping with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign this season.

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December 17, 2014

Making Spirits Bright

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Let me interrupt our regularly-scheduled United Way programming to write about a wonderful community organization helping those in need in our community: the Sheboygan County Rotary’s Clubs Making Spirits Bright. In this season of overspending, I encourage you and your families to drive through the FREE holiday light show in Sheboygan’s Evergreen Park and bring a donation of non-perishable food items to support those in need.

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December 1, 2014

Yes Virginia, There ARE Benefits to Volunteering

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Wiki what? As I was thinking about my topic for the column this week and throwing around different ideas, I began doing a bit of online research pertaining to the correlation between volunteering and happiness. Who knew that volunteering is part of wikiHow’s prescription for fighting depression and loneliness. In fact, it’s method number two, point two, of three methods.

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