Guest Column: United Way is busy out in the community

Published 10:02 pm Friday, August 31, 2018

Live United, By Ann Austin

Over the years many things have changed. Huge advancements of technology and the internet have become a part of most people’s lives. Videos, social media, texting and being connected to people across the world are just at the touch of our fingertips. With all of this at the touch of our fingertips, sometimes we get so in tuned that we don’t see what is going on in the world or community around us. We don’t always see everything or know what’s going on. It’s good to remember that there is more happening out in our world and to take a break from all of the technology and internet. It’s important to remember our neighbors and our community. Sometimes we are so focused on winning that we forget what we are fighting for. Everyone needs help at some point in their life.

Ann Austin

With technology being a big part of people’s lives, this year we have a video to hopefully help get our message across. It has local people who use programs that we fund. The video is very powerful and impacting. The video will be posted on our Facebook page and will be available to share with others.

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Technology has been great and powerful this year for us. We have been posting community cleanup events on Facebook, and we have been getting out in the community more this year. During our cleanups we take videos and pictures to post on Facebook. This has been great with engaging others in the community.

This fall we are going to be working to help with Senior Resources Chore Services to help the seniors in our community. Some seniors have a harder time doing yard work such as raking leaves, mowing lawns, cleaning gutters and keeping their homes up to date. We hope to address some of these needs in our community to help seniors stay in their own homes for as long as they can.

Mental Health Awareness Week is coming up in October, so keep an eye out on our Facebook page and fliers for more information on what will be going on that week. In the beginning of November, there is a Minnesota Acts of Kindness week. During that week we will be encouraging and doing more acts of kindness. We want as many people as possible to participate in this. It can be as little as buying the next person behind you some coffee or holding a door for an elderly person. But remember, it’s important to be kind to others every day because you never know what kind of battles they are facing.

Things are always changing, but change doesn’t happen alone. Change is tough and not many people like it, but it’s necessary to move on, to make the world and our community better. It doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time, and sometimes it takes baby steps to get where we want to be. But it doesn’t happen alone. We have each other to help us navigate and guide us through the tough unseeing times.

Live united!

To get more involved with volunteering, contact Katelyn Tollefson at 507-473-2718 or email Or you can stop in the Vitality Center at 314 S. Broadway Ave.

Ann Austin is the executive director of the United Way of Freeborn County.