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Want to help? Try getting involved with United Way

By Annie Satariano

Special to the Herald

Did you miss Random Act of Kindness Week, Feb. 11-17? Never heard of it? Not to worry. In the spirit of paying it forward, there is no limitation in time or space for doing something out of the goodness of your heart, and without thought of remuneration or with expectation.

Some of us live a life built on this, and some of us need a mental Post-it note to consciously put ourselves out there for each other. No matter where we are in our lives right now, are there any of us who were not helped along the way by someone giving of themselves? We are comforted when we help others, giving back what has been freely given to us. The ripple effects of good deeds could never be fully known but may always be felt.

We can make an impression or change a life. Whether it is writing a check to a charity or nonprofit or pulling a stranger’s car out of the snow, we’ve made a difference. Something big, sometimes small, we’ve helped others on their way.

Most nonprofits exist to do this very thing. The people in your community working in human-service programs (and land-conservation programs and animal-rehabilitation programs and keeping-bears -out-of-garbage programs, etc.) make a difference. They believe in the work they do, the services they offer and the change they can manifest in the world, even if it’s just our little corner of it.

They don’t make a lot of money, and they joke about the karma coins that (hopefully) are coming our way someday. Those in direct services see the success and failure firsthand. Those of us further removed can be contented in a job well done. Somewhere down the line, at the end of the day, we have made a difference in someone’s life.

This column is called “Creating Community,” and this is how we help do it. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, sometimes humbly (or not so humbly), we skip a stone of good intent into the obstacles and difficulties that make up human life and create ripples.

That is our hope. At United Way of Southwest Colorado and our partner agencies, we strive daily to be of service to our communities and those in need, and we encourage you to become involved.

We gladly would help you find a way to contribute your time, your talents and your heart. We have solid programs for your financial consideration and contribution.

This spring, United Way will begin the allocation process for funding 2014-15. If you would like to be a part of this process and learn firsthand the needs in our community, please call us to volunteer and join this committee.

A job well done, a life well lived, a random act of kindness and a desire to help: These are available to each of us every day. Truly, this is “creating community.”

Annie Satariano is director of community relations for United Way of Southwest Colorado. Reach her at 247-9444.