Fort Wayne Magazine | Paving The Way

Nov 30, 2021

FORT WAYNE MAGAZINE – December 2021 Issue (pg. 35-36)

When things get hard, we turn inward. We hunker down and take care of me myself, and I. When the pandemic hit, many of us managed the quarantine with more family time, new home improvement projects, and lots of online shopping.

But such is the luxury of “The Haves” The Pandemic was a much different story for the “Have Nots” Until 2021, When the Fort Wayne Community showed up.

Without your continued support, local nonprofits would not be able to do what is required of us to meet our communities most pressing needs. In a season in which you were unable to see us face-to-face or join our annual fundraising events, you found ways to give no matter the barrier. You went to our websites, mailed unsolicited checks, signed up for reoccurring gifts, bought tickets to virtual events and rounded up at local vendors. Because of you, $5 million was raised for the emergency relief fund in which every penny was distributed assisting nearly 700k of our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members. In an environment that had greater need and less resources, you showed up.

Thank you also to those of you who, in addition to providing financial support, serve as board of directors, volunteers, committee members, advisory councils and mentors. You painted, mulched, picked up trash, fed the hungry and homed the needy. You somehow locked arms six feet apart. You were able to scream our missions and give a muffled voice to those who had none through required masks. You wore blue jeans to zoom for our teams on Webex. You continued to pour into our organizations even though you were not allowed on site. In an environment of locked doors and video log on required, you showed up.

Finally, thank you especially for those tens of thousands of committed individuals who do heavy lifting of non-profit work as a career where the pay is less, scrutiny higher, stakes greater and in many situations the appreciation minimal. There was no clocking out when remote wouldn’t allow you to turn it off. The world called for more balance, but you were consistently asked to balance more. You are resourceful, consistent and persistent. You prioritize community progress over personal advancement daily. You are not simply a member of a nonprofit team, you are superheroes cloaked in selflessness, dedication and devotion. You showed up.

To everyone who invested in, volunteered at or worked for a nonprofit throughout what has been called a modern-day ice age in 2021, thank you for a job well done.

Thank you for showing up.

– Matthew Purkey, President & CEO, United Way of Allen County

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