With all the attention around the United Way campaign at this time of the year, I wanted to share a personal story about a United Way organization that has captured my heart and has unraveled a new passion in my life these past few years.
Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati is a social network in its truest form. It’s a person-centered organization that focuses people’s skills and passions and builds inclusive communities. Being part of a family or a community is something that I believe so many of us take for granted. Starfire works toward connecting people with disabilities into the Cincinnati community in an effort to decrease the separations that are often placed between people with disabilities and the rest of their communities. This is about building relationships to help people with disabilities lead better lives.
I first learned of Starfire when LPK was asked to do their brand identity seven years ago. Since then, I’ve continued to volunteer monthly and work on their largest annual fundraiser, FlyAway. What I love most is their unique fundraising approach. Starfire members are an integral part of our committee. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to get to know each other. We get to hear what is important to people with disabilities, and listen to what they believe Starfire should be and stand for. It gives us all a chance to interact with each other and become engaged in one another’s thoughts and ideas.
I am so proud to be a part of Starfire. It’s a bond you can’t understand until you experience it. I could go on and on raving about Starfire and why you should give some of your time, but you have to actually stop by and see it for yourself. Just do it. Come hang out with us for a day and you’ll see how amazing it is. I promise you can’t match all the cheerful, open-armed people with an energy level higher than my own (and if you don’t know me, my energy level can raise the roof) when you walk through the doors. People you meet there are your potential best friends.
If you love it (and I know you will), the opportunities to get involved are infinite. You can join a fundraising committee, teach a class, take a class, join a Capstone Committee or attend the Conversations, Connections & Collaborations gatherings held monthly throughout Cincinnati. To see an example of some of this amazing work, check out their YouTube channel playlist.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming fundraiser ArtAbility on December 7th beginning at 6:30 pm, and the Final Four FlyAway in March. More details about these events can be found on Starfire’s website or Facebook page.
Lastly, a big thank you to United Way, and all those who contribute to their campaign this year—Starfire exists in part because of your generosity.