In business, competition is a primary driving force. But when it comes to addressing our region’s most pressing issues, collaboration is far more critical. Issues like hunger and homelessness, poverty and lack of education have long been the domain of nonprofits and the public sector, with companies often relegated to writing checks on the sidelines.
Despite the generosity of many businesses, the recession made it clear that our funding model needed to change in order to meet the needs of our community. It’s only by unifying the private sector and public sectors around a common agenda that we unlock the door for collective impact.
I am gratified to see the progress we have made in our community. However, the needs are still great. We still see families who continue to struggle with the basic needs of life. Heart of Florida United Way paves the path for a brighter, stronger future in Central Florida by building strong lives, strong families and stronger communities.
United Way is pursuing holistic solutions that include: stabilizing poverty-stricken homes, decreasing homelessness and improving access to nutritious food and keeping kids healthy to reduce school absenteeism. In Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, over 260,000 residents are living in poverty. Our goal is to alleviate hunger and homelessness in Central Florida while addressing the immediate need for food, shelter and basic services to individual families in crisis.
So, please, don’t let this season of joy pass without helping those who are hurting. If you have already supported the Heart of Florida United Way in your workplace campaign, thank you. The United Way’s website, HFUW.org, provides the opportunity for a holiday season gift. Your gift of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more will make as lasting difference beyond the holiday season.
You can also make a difference beyond the holiday season by giving a friend or co-worker the opportunity to attend the Women’s Leadership Luncheon on March 12th featuring Erin Gruwell, bestselling author of “The Freedom Writers Diary,” or by purchasing tickets for Chef’s Gala, Central Florida’s best fine dining and wine pairing charity event being held on May 10th. Individual tickets, corporate packages and sponsorships are available for both of these premier community events.
Thank you for making a lasting difference beyond the holiday season. Your Dollar Goes Far, but Stays Close to Home.
Thomas K. Sittema
CEO, CNL Financial Group
2013 Campaign Chair