The Bartlesville community was invited to think about who their hero is at the Bartlesville Regional United Way kickoff on Thursday. BRUW kicked off their “The Hero In U” campaign, setting a goal of raising $2 million. Around 170 members of the community attended the kickoff held at the Bartlesville Community Center.
“Being a part of the Bartlesville United Way, for the past 8 years, and actively participating in the area agencies, we have seen actual benefits to our community’s families,” Campaign Chairs Rick and Kathy Loyd said. “Knowing that our donations are being used to assist children, families, women, men, and senior citizens, makes spending our time, talents and resources that much more meaningful. We would like to encourage all Bartlesville residents to be ‘The Hero in U!’ Every one of us is a hero in our community and makes a difference where it is most impactful.”
The money raised during the campaign will allow United Way to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the community. A Red Cross representative gave a real-life example of a local family who experienced a tragedy. While on a trip to the zoo, they received a phone call that their house had burned. The Red Cross, a United Way agency, was there with them every step of the way, helping them get back on their feet. Programs like this are what allow United Way donors to be heroes to their fellow citizens.
“What I want most is to see your United Way continue to help so many people in our community. So when we think of who the United Way serves, often we think first of those who need us the most. Your United Way has the basic needs covered,” Bartlesville Regional United Way Board President Sara Freeman said.
“But the other part of what we do is help those who are working hard to help themselves, such as working parents who rely on afterschool care so they can finish a shift or go to school. They can know their kids are safe, having a healthy snack and getting home work done,” Freeman said. “These people are looking for a helping hand, not a handout.”
The money raised by the United Way campaign will benefit programs at 14 partner agencies and three initiatives. United Way believes that education, income and health are the building blocks of a successful life. By providing resources that support those goals, United Way truly is building a stronger community.
Education provides the foundation for a successful future. Last year, thanks to United Way donors, over 3,000 children participated in leadership education and character development. Income provides a family with the stability they need to lead their life. Last year, thanks to Building Bridges of Oklahoma, $319,000 in pay day loans were paid off by low-income families working towards self-sufficiency. Good health is necessary for individuals to be able to excel at work in or in school. Last year, Thanks to the community’s donations, last year, 2,411 doctors’ appointments were provided to low-income individuals.
“While a hero to some people might be a superhero from a comic book or movie, others might think of real life heroes such a firefighters, police officers and military, or even their own family,” Marketing Manager Abigail Singrey said. “But we encouraged the people attending our kickoff to look within themselves. Each of our donors and volunteers are a hero to those in need in the community.”