We’ve all said it….

At one time or another, we’ve all said, “If I were in charge, I’d do things differently,” a phrase most frequently uttered during the early years of one’s career.  Well, here is your opportunity to stop saying “if” and prove it.

United Way is recruiting community-minded volunteers to help determine where to spend the money raised during the 2008 Campaign.  As a member of a Visiting Allocation Team, volunteers will visit local agencies, evaluate their contribution to the community, and make funding recommendations. 

This is your opportunity to…

  • Put on your thinking cap and make decisions to benefit our entire community
  • Examine how past donor dollars were spent 
  • Guide resources to where they are needed most

Volunteer today to shape the community you want to see tomorrow, because you can run the show!  To learn more about volunteering with a United Way Visiting Allocations Team this fall or to sign up as a volunteer, please click here.


Homelessness Drops by 30%

According to a just released report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of chronically homeless individuals in the U.S. fell by nearly 30 percent between 2005 and 2007. The report attributes the decrease to several factors including better data collection efforts, variations in the number of communities reporting annual homelessness numbers, but also advances in homelessness policy and strategy.

Although my initial inclination is that these numbers probably overstate the advancements, it is also worth noting that communities are getting much more creative and resourceful with how they respond to their homeless populations. We don’t have to look any further than our own Project Homeless Connect to see that energy directed in a collaborative effort can have positive impact. The question becomes where do we go from here? Continue reading

A Sad Day

Randy Pausch, author of our previous LIVE UNITED book club selection The Last Lecture, died at his home in Virginia today.  Although Randy lived considerably longer than his doctors anticipated, his life was nonetheless cut short. To read more about his interesting life and outlook, including his starring in Star Trek, click here.

 If you haven’t already seen his increbile last lecture take some time this weekend to watch it here.

As for our next book, the book club chose to read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.  We’ll meet on Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:00 p.m. for what will surely be a lively discussion about this memoir of a life of the author’s homeless childhood. If you’re interested in participating send us an email at youngleaders@uwca.org for more details.

Hips, Hips, Hooray!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the South has once again taken the cake (pardon the pun) for the most obese region in the country. In the most recent issue of their Morbidity and Mortality Report, Alabama checks in with around 30.3% of adults being obese. Mississippi is slightly ahead with a 32% adult obesity rate. By the way, if you’re with the CDC and reading this, your report officially has the most depressing sounding title of all weekly reports ever. 

The typical factors are to blame: bad diet, high poverty rates, and low levels of physical activity. Unfortunately with the current economy and increase in the local jobless rate, things could possibly get worse. The good news is that small changes can lead to big improvements.

So this weekend, we recommend three small steps that everyone can do to begin a healthier lifestyle: (after the jump) Continue reading

Americans Struggle to Meet Health Needs

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes aired a story about charities working to meet the healthcare gap in our country.  Millions of people are uninsured or under-insured, meaning they cannot pay the deductible.  These are working families, individuals on disability, and older adults.  We would like to recognize Remote Area Medical and the thousands of other nonprofits and volunteers that “live united” by working meet the medical needs of their communities.

In Birmingham this past April, United Way worked with over 70 local agencies to organize Project Homeless Connect.  At this event, individuals received services similar to those featured on 60 Minutes.  Attendees were incredibly grateful to receive medical and dental care at the event, but what about those neighbors that do not consider themselves homeless?  Would they come to a homeless event to receive medical care?  If not, what are alternative solutions?  Continue reading

Who’s in the mood to LIVE UNITED?

You’ve heard us say before that we’re concerned about the overall health of our community, particularly the health of the children in our neighborhoods. Well, it appears that we aren’t the only ones. We recently came across some news about the NFL launching their new “Play 60” fitness program to encourage a more physical lifestyle for kids. At www.nflrush.com/health kids can find great new play ideas, healthy diet tips from their favorite players, and a chat room where kids can encourage each other to live a healthy lifestyle. The question while we were visiting, was “Now that school is out for the summer, how are you going to play 60 every day?” Continue reading

Bear Attack?

Our local Fox 6 news channel has an interesting story on their website right now: “In this time of economic trouble how do you rate your personal financial health?”

Although in many ways Alabama has faired better than other states during this most recent downturn in terms of unemployment, housing prices, etc., right now about 60% of those polled indicate that they are either struggling or that they’re broke. We don’t want to add to the already crowded marketplace of economic opinions, but we thought it was interesting to note how our neighbors (and perhaps you) are feeling. Continue reading