Local executives were challenged Wednesday to keep in mind this year’s Hopkins County United Way campaign’s goal to “give more to help more” and to approach it with a “limitless” vision.
HCUW Chairman Chris Voorheese noted that Wednesday’s kickoff luncheon was designed to serve four purpose: extend gratitude to each executive officer of 15 businesses who contributed the most to the 2012-13 campaign; to thank them for their continued support; talk about United Way's origin and how that's still a driving force for today's fundraisers; and to share United Way officials' vision for HCUW.
Voorheese recalled something former Brookshire's Sulphur Springs store director Joey Shelton shared with him years ago: To be succesful you need to surround yourself with successful people.
He said that the people present were largely that for HCUW. He offered thanks to each CEO/company representative, to the HCUW Board and HCUW Budget and Allocations Committee. He also expressed thanks to Alliance Bank for sponsoring the lunch; Chad Young and The Lodge for hosting and sponsoring the lunch; and to GSC Enterprises Inc. for providing printed UW materials.
Voorheese said that the vision of United Way started in Denver, Colo, in 1887, with a diverse group of five church and community members — two ministers, a priest, a rabbi and a woman — who saw a need for a charity organization to coordinate fundraising efforts, with the funds to be passed on to different health and charitable organizations.
"United Way's vision is not just my vision. I re-iterate, it came from above. I don't imagine those five people when they got together had any idea what it would become. I believe they had servants' hearts … to help those in need,” Voorheese said.
Based on his research he believes that the group began out of the woman's mission to help others.
"She had a mission," Voorheese said of Frances Wisebart Jacobs, the woman who helped create United Way. "I believe God laid it on her heart, so then she went to the men. I believe this because I'm married. I know when a woman gets one thing on her mind and wants something, she will get it.
"I know that whenever women lead in good work, men will follow. I believe she had a calling. Heew we are 126 years later with United Way, which started in Denver and is a world wide ministry. In Hopkins County, we truly can see God's work in that. God started this ministry. It's the only way it could have started in Denver and spread to us and world-wide today."
The first fund drive in Denver in 1888 raised $21,700. This year's goal for HCUW is set at $155,000, an increase for the first time since 2008 when John Sellers served as campaign chair. That's $5,000 more than in the last few years.
Dr. Joel Tiemeyer, keynote speaker, continued in that light, challenging those present at the luncheon to keep in mind Mark 9:23 and approach the HCUW ministry and campaign not by focusing on the $155,000 goal as, but as a ministry without limits.
"Don't look as this campaign a as a dollar figure, but who do we believe in? When we give it shows who we believe in to make Hopkins County great," said Tiemeyer.
He said that someone's belief in him helped him learn to live life outside limits that most people put on them. Although he grew up with limited resources, he attained a bachelor’s degree, then earned a master's and doctorate in theology. He started a church when others thought it folly. He achieved his goal not only of going to Brazil on a mission trip, but has visited 12 countries around the world for mission projects.
"All things are possible to those who believe in the mission God palpated in me, the potential in me," Tiemeyer said. "Every dollar raised teaches someone — I believe in you. When we break away from limits, we can accomplish things and change the world we live in. I challenge the companies and your people to be great by you leading by example. Aspire to greater change.
"I believe we live in the greatest county and city in the United States — that city on the hill whose light cannot be hidden. You as leaders, you can help rise to a greater Sulphur Springs, to meet the United Way goal. Rise to greatness, pull together, believe in someone and their potential," Tiemeyer said.
He reminded that 99 percent of the money given to HCUW stays in Hopkins County, "to make Hopkins County a better place to live."
The slogan for this year's campaign is "Give more to hope more." Tiemeyer and Voorheese challenged the CEOs and others present at the lunch to do that and follow this vision by asking "what can I do to help," encouraging their employees to give, continuing to educate people about HCUW, and encouraging those who are unable to make monetary donations to hep by become a HCUW worker.
"Please, lets take the vision with us and to God be the glory. We appreciate you coming. As a body of Christ we can get out here and take action. Let's do it," Voorheese said in closing.
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