By Amanda Loveless, equal opportunity specialist 

This is not the United Way story I originally wrote.

In that story I focused on how great things happen when we Live United.

How through their initiatives of income, health and education we build a stronger community with healthy citizens, children who are ready to learn, and families that are fiscally stable.

I wrote how serving on United Way’s community investment committees shows me that my dollars are used to provide the biggest impact to the communities we serve.

I wrote about Kindercamp, the program that brings kids with no formal preschool experience into a school setting during the summer so they are ready to learn in the fall.

I wrote about how the VITA program has helped not only our Flagstaff families prepare their taxes and keep more of their money, but how our students get great accounting experience by helping prepare those forms.

I wrote about seeing my daughter’s face light up every month when she finds her book from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in our mailbox and how because of this program the spark of lifelong learning has been ignited.

My United Way story is all of those things, but today my thoughts turn to how United Way and their partner agencies come together in times of crisis to provide comfort and safety.

It is through the efforts of United Way and their partners that we, including our students, are counseled on the intricacies of the legal system and supplied resources when after becoming a victim of crime.

Agencies are there when our friends, family, or students are in need of health care—mental or otherwise.

Partners serve food, provide shelter and empower the young and old.

United Way helps create the environment where we want to live. Creating lasting changes in our community. That’s what United Way does and that is why my family LIVES UNITED by giving, advocating and volunteering.

I invite you to do the same. Learn more about NAU’s United Way initiatives.