By DONNA OSUCH
UNITED WAY OF
WEST CENTRAL CT
To advocate is to support or speak in favor of something. When you advocate for United Way, you show your support for the common good. You let people know that you care about making positive changes in West Central Connecticut. For many, advocating will be word of mouth. For others, it’s simply wearing the LIVE UNITED shirt. For some, it will be sharing your story on social media such as Facebook or Twitter, writing a letter to the editorm or speaking up in a community forum about how to better our community.
United Way is one of the few places that people can come to the table to tackle community issues regardless of their political views. Our goal is to help bridge the gap between those driving policy decisions and the agencies and individuals impacted by those decisions.
We also help to educate both policy-makers and community members about important issues to promote informed decisions. United Way seeks long-term solutions that improve education, income and health, as well as those that strengthen the non-profit sector and ensure that basic human needs are met.
You might think that advocating means lobbying on a specific piece of legislation in Hartford or Washington. But there are many other ways that you can advocate. See below for ways you can make a meaningful impact in your local community:
Advocating is More Than Politics
In addition to contacting legislators about important issues, every time you speak to a friend, volunteer for a specific cause, post a note on Facebook or hang a flyer in your local neighborhood – you are advocating.
Advocate in Your Community
We need your help promoting these causes:
Tell someone about 2-1-1: This free information and referral service can only work if everyone knows about it.
Help people save on Prescription Drugs: FamilyWize Discount Cards save people an average of 30% on their medications.
Raise funds for Education, Income and Health Initiatives: Raise awareness about these issues by reposting our Facebook updates or forwarding our e-newsletters.
Advocate in Person
Tell others about United Way’s work. Mention United Way at your corporate or family events. Urge people you know to volunteer. Discuss issues and solutions with your friends, neighbors, and family. Connect to neighbors you haven’t met or join a neighborhood association working to improve your community.
Advocate through Social Media
Tell others about United Way’s programs in education, income, and health in your Facebook status updates. Tweet about how 2-1-1 is helping people in our community by connecting them with available services. “Like” our United Way of West Central Connecticut Facebook page and follow us on Twitter (@UnitedWayWCCT). Online, there’s no limit to the people you can reach – the who, what, where, and when is up to you!
And the best way to advocate for United Way? Get involved directly with us! Simply log onto our website to find out what opportunities are currently available and where we need your help: http://www.uwwestcentralct.org/how-get-involved
This is the seventh column in an eight-week series from United Way of West Central Connecticut’s President & CPO, Donna Osuch.