CHANGE Begins with YOU

CHANGE begins with SHAWN

My name is: Shawn McPherson

I am making a positive change in our community by: investing my money, time, talents, knowledge, and energy into the lives of others within our community, either through direct means, or indirect by way our local agencies and programs that are run and operated by people with a passion and desire to see the lives of those within their community thrive!

What would you say to encourage someone to get involved in making a change in our community?
I have heard it said that we should do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above ourselves, not looking to our own interests but to the interests of the others. I have seen the invaluable effects of this truth lived out throughout my life.

Recently, I had conducted a funeral service for a co-worker/friend of mine who passed away suddenly.  Though all of us at work mourn the loss, we were inspired by his life in many ways. From the folks that were at the funeral, to the stories that were spread around and shared, evidence was ever present of the positive and forever trickling impact that a single life can have upon countless others. That was their lasting legacy, and every life that was at the funeral, I dare say, were better because of this man’s passion to serve them in some way. There will more than likely be no books written about this man, as there were no larger than life accomplishments based on the world’s definition of greatness. But he surely is a great man to many, for having accomplished numerous seemingly small tasks of service and love throughout his life, which added up to one giant testimony of how we too, have been given the ability to do good in this life and to help others through this journey.

If everyone in our community, viewed their life and all they have been blessed with, as an opportunity to help others, there would be no need for even the United Way. It would be wonderful for us all to work ourselves out of a job in that way. That vision begins with something that we all have the means to accomplish, which is a single act of kindness towards another.

 

CHANGE begins with EMILY

My name is: Emily Oswald
 

I am making a positive change in my community by Helping those less fortunate and by providing resources that enable others to better their lives.


Is there any more to your story? What else would you like to share?
Volunteering in my community has given me a much better perspective on not only myself, but also on those around me. Being a part of Students LIVE UNITED has made a huge impact on my life by showing me all of the different types of people/groups that need help, which is very important to understand and have knowledge of in order to make a difference.


What would you say to encourage someone to get involved in making a change in our community?
I find it very rewarding to be a LIVE UNITED volunteer in my community. Even the smallest actions can make a huge difference in the lives of others and yourself.

 

CHANGE begins with STEVE

My name is: Steve Pembleton


I am making a positive change in my community by… Being a member of a community has its responsibilities. There is more to being a member of as community than just paying taxes. I feel that being a member of a community also means that I should assist those who are less fortunate than me. I have always felt that it was important to give back to my community. My wife and I recently moved to the Holland area. Soon after our arrival we began to look for opportunities to volunteer our time to assist others. United Way was one of the initial opportunities that became available. As an Account Manager, I have the opportunity to work with local businesses in their efforts. This allows me to “leverage” my time to maximize the value that my efforts can generate.


Is there any more to your story? What else would you like to share?
Throughout my career, I have always supported United Way. When working for large, multi-national corporations I was often the United Way coordinator for my group. I have always felt that United Way played an important role in the community.


What would you say to encourage someone to get involved in making a change in our community?
I have been lucky that I have never had to call upon United Way for personal assistance, but I have benefitted in many ways from the support that they give the communities in which I live. I have lived in many parts of the US. United Way has always made my town a better place to live for all of us.

 

CHANGE begins with TAYLOR

My name is: Taylor Wise Harthorn


I am making a positive change in my community by… spending time with Jose. Jose is an energetic nine-year old with a big heart and an even bigger smile. We started hanging out in the summer of 2014 after being set up through the Migrant Mentoring program with the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance. Jose and I spend a little time together each week, hanging out around Holland and doing various activities. It isn't much, but the time we are together has a huge impact, especially on myself.


What would you say to encourage someone to get involved in making a change in our community?
I would strongly encourage other members of the Holland community to get involved, in any capacity. It doesn't need to be all day, every day. A few hours can have a big impact on so many lives.

 

CHANGE begins with LINDSEY

My name is: Lindsey Drost

I am making a positive change in my community by… joining Students LIVE UNITED at my school and finding a variety of ways to give back to the community. I tutor twice a week during the school year and I just got back from volunteering as a counselor at Camp Sunshine.


Is there any more to your story? What else would you like to share?
Being a part of Students Live United and volunteering has really changed my life. It’s brought me closer to many people that I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet otherwise. I’ve learned that no matter how different our lives are from others’, we can help each other and teach each other so much.


What would you say to encourage someone to get involved in making a change in our community?
Volunteering your time helps others, but it also helps you. I have gained so much as a part of Students Live United, and choosing to spend my time volunteering is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

 

CHANGE begins with YOU

To be a part of the change, start today by donating, volunteering, or both!