July 8, 2014
United Way's mission is to improve communities on a global level to advance the common good. Advocacy by passionate people is crucial to the success of this mission. Although becoming an advocate is not always easy, it is always rewarding. Natalie's story is an amazing example of how one small decision will make an impact on the global community.
Upon learning about the death of a young adult thyroid cancer patient, Natalie's friend asked her and two other friends if they would be willing to color their hair hot pink for one day to raise awareness. As a pledge of solidarity, on September 1st, four girls in three countries planned on having hot pink hair.
But Natalie was nervous that her hair would not return to its normal color by Monday morning. She fidgeted as she informed her supervisor of her plans and the importance behind it. But the supervisor was thrilled, telling Natalie that if she kept her hair hot pink for thirty days, the company would make a donation to thyroid cancer research. Less than 48 hours later, Natalie received an email from the supervisor stating that the entire office would have hot pink hair for one day to show their support. That marked the beginning of Natalie becoming an advocate.
By mid-August, more than 100 people in five countries joined Natalie in her efforts to raise awareness. A few days later, it turned into a global fundraiser for thyroid cancer research! As for Natalie, the pink hair has drawn a lot of stares and questions on her daily commute using mass transit. She proudly tells them of how important thyroid cancer research is, and why her hair was pink.
This is the butterfly effect of becoming an advocate. The wish to honor a lost loved one turned into an international fundraiser in less than two weeks. So whether your personal cause is in education, income stability, or healthier lives, becoming a volunteer for United Way significantly impacts the local community. Stronger local communities lead to a stronger society, and from there the effects are felt globally. Be a part of the change and LIVE UNITED.