Community of HOPE

As much as I look forward to summer and the possibilities it brings, I admit, I enjoyed taking time to reflect upon the wonderful year 2015 has been, thus far, for United Way of Whitley County and our Community Partners.  My view of Whitley County is unique due to the job I have. It affords me the opportunity to see, personally, the goodness of many, many people and that is incredibly uplifting; it is what I love about what I do. However, I struggle every day to find the best ways to share the fantastic news of what is happening within United Way of Whitley County and our Community Partners so that those of you, who do not have my vantage point, can see even a portion of what it is that I see happening in this community.

There are amazing, passionate people who are changing lives each day throughout Whitley County: Shawn Ellis, Dane Starkey, Lori Starkey, Nikki Trier (and her entire staff at TROY Center), Jeff Wike, Laura Lefever, Jason Meyer, Alice    Anderson, Sherry Saussaman, Natalie Lewis, Tania Keirn, Laura Smiley, Rachelle Patrick …. just to name a few. You may know these people, and countless others, who are doing real, hard work in this community with very little recognition or thanks. These individuals do what many would rather not, or what many would say there is no need for…. but, I hate to think of Whitley County without them. These individuals give hope where others would rather look the other way and say, “It’s not my problem.” I am grateful for these individuals who continually remind me that compassion for others (including my compassion for others) is not a flaw, in fact, it is one of mankind’s greatest strengths. Margaret Mead quoted it perfectly, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.

Over the course of the next few months I plan to continue sharing with you, our donors, a variety of success stories illustrating how your contributions to United Way have been invested in community programs and services that GIVE HOPE and CHANGE LIVES.  You may not realize that your generosity allows students to stay in school and graduate, providing them the chance to become contributing members of the community. Or, that your contributions provide families with guidance toward local programs that encourage positive parenting and participation in child development services to ensure children stay healthy. Or, that your contributions help victims of domestic violence receive counseling, support, and education to help them break out of a cycle of violence. Or, even, that your contributions provide fresh, nutritious meals to senior citizens and give them the opportunity to participate in weekly programs allowing them to continue to thrive within our community. Honestly, I could continue on with the impact your contributions have on residents throughout Whitley County as it  is truly remarkable the work being accomplished through our Community Partners. It is their work that continues to inspire me as I look forward to the year ahead.

The one thing I recognize, time and again, is the  realization of how fortunate we are in Whitley County. We  are fortunate to have a multitude of individuals who selflessly give of themselves to help others succeed, and we are also just as fortunate to have a multitude of individuals who selflessly give, financially, to ensure needs continue to be met. Thank you for creating lasting change in Whitley County through your contributions to United Way of Whitley County. United Way will continue to make sure your contributions are invested into community programs and services that truly GIVE HOPE and CHANGE LIVES, making Whitley County a better place to live, for all of us.


Thank you !

Cindy Baker

Executive Director


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