In March of 2016, Ronnie made a donation to United Way. It was a minimal amount by most standards--not even an amount that earned public recognition. Instead, it was a simple gift that he gave through his employer. This type of giving happens thousands of times each year to our local United Way of the Ocoee Region, but Ronnie’s gift was one of our most prized donations of the entire year. Why? We are so glad you asked.
Welcome to United Way of the Ocoee Region’s annual Cleveland Daily Banner special feature. In the past we have highlighted projects that United Way has launched, supported, or assisted in some capacity. We will continue that tradition within this feature, but we would like to focus more on the WHY than the WHAT. In the New York Times best selling book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek says,
“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”
There are extraordinarily complex needs in the Ocoee Region. There are pain points all over our community, but most of us do not have the time or the knowledge to invest in these needs at a deep level. The process is extensive and complicated--listening to the community, qualitatively and quantitatively assessing the expressed needs, identifying existing entities that can meet the need, leading collaborative efforts to solve the problem, and thinking holistically about how to meet the need in a healthy and positive way that will work to solve the problem. A truly complex problem typically requires a complex solution.
So, why does United Way of the Ocoee Region exist? We exist to help solve our community’s most complex social needs. We have wonderful businesses and non-profits and community members, but everyone is consumed with fulfilling their organizational mission. Most cannot take the time to pause on their work or mission to help others fulfill theirs. They need someone who can understand the need, gather resources, develop strategy, and then include them where their expertise is needed. Inspiring this type of collaboration, collective impact, and robust strategy is our “Why.”
Our mission is to be a community-based organization that leads the efforts in identifying community needs, facilitating collaboration, and maximizing resources to positively impact our community and surrounding area. Every facet of this mission is strategic. Every word is vital to our understanding our why.