It is an honor to serve as a co-chair with Janey Lester for the 2018 United Way of Southeast Alaska Campaign. I have been a United Way supporter for over 20 years because I believe living in community means taking care of our friends and neighbors, and I believe in the in the mission, vision and core values of United Way:
Mission: United Way collaborates with communities and agencies across Southeast Alaska to strengthen and improve the health, education and financial stability of all individuals.
Vision: United Way of Southeast Alaska envisions a region where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability and healthy lives.
Core values: Impact and commitment to community success, volunteerism, inclusiveness, equity, diversity, integrity, accountability, respect for all, trust, highest ethics and fiscally responsible innovation.
By focusing on three major building blocks for a successful future — education, health and income stability — people have a better chance of having a higher quality of life. The better quality for each person means a better quality of life for us all.
United Way of Southeast Alaska is an umbrella organization that partners with 31 community nonprofit organizations. Together these organizations and United Way help provide a safety net for the communities of Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. One out of three people will use a United Way agency in their lifetime. The support you provide today can have a lasting impact on someone’s life.
United Way doesn’t just raise funds for the partner organizations it also directs funds to specific immediate needs. For instance, this year United Way of Southeast Alaska partnered with the Juneau Community Foundation, the Juneau School District and others to offer free breakfasts for all students in elementary and middle schools. High school students who receive reduced-price breakfast and lunch can have free breakfasts and lunch. Students can begin the day not having to worry where they can find food and can focus more on learning.
It is easy to support United Way of Southeast Alaska, if you are a federal employees you can sign up through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), if you are a state employee you can sign up through the SHARE program, and if you are a City and Borough of Juneau, or private company employee you can arrange to have an automatic amount taken out of your paycheck and sent to United Way. You know with every check you get you are also helping others in the community. If you are retired, you can set up monthly payments with your credit card directly though the United Way website. You get credit card miles, and you are helping the organizations of your choice, or you can let United Way use the funds where the need is the greatest.
One of the many things I love about living in Juneau is the way the community comes together to help one another. Giving through United Way is another way to help our community to live united.
• Kim Kiefer retired in 2016 after 33 years in public service, most recently as the city manager of Juneau. In her retirement she continues to be involved in the community by serving on the board of the Juneau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and Zach Gordon Alumni Committee, a volunteer coordinator for Family Promise of Juneau, a tri manager for the Juneau Pride Chorus and president of the Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club.