Archived Story

What ‘Live United’ means to me

Published 6:32am Sunday, September 23, 2012

Column: Live United, by Kim Nelson

Living united, if you look up the definition in the dictionary or Google it, you would find definitions like “Pursue a positive, satisfying existence” or “To continue to be alive” or “Exist together.”

Great, powerful words!

Kim Nelson

The agencies of the United Way of Freeborn County have this concept down, for sure. One of the most powerful things our community can do is for all of us to exist respectfully.

I feel Albert Lea and the surrounding area should be proud of the work being done by several agencies to promote Living United. Supporting one another, pointing out the positive things that happen in our community and not dwelling on what went wrong.

Look around you. Think of all the examples of living united we have. The Albert Lea Farmers Market, the Leadership program, service clubs, booster clubs, parent/teacher organizations, Mayo Clinic Health System, Albert Lea Area Schools, Freeborn County Healthy Families, the THRIVE Initiative, the Albert Lea Downtown Association, the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce, the business community, neighborhood picnics, Pioneering Healthy Communities, National Vitality Center, Northbridge Mall, Riverland Community College, Habitat for Humanity, Shinefest, Marion Ross Performing Arts Center, Albert Lea Community Theatre and the work our churches do in the community.

To me all of these are examples positive and satisfying! I know that I have missed some, but how overwhelming it is to think that we have such wonderful opportunities to be alive and exist together. We live united right here.

The United Way of Freeborn County has been instrumental in creating a culture of living united here in Albert Lea and the entire Freeborn County. I feel so blessed to be in this community and living united with all of you.


Kim Nelson is the executive director of The Children’s Center, a United Way agency.