What can we do for a community that has provided so much for us?” That was the question posed to a room of forty local community leaders who had been selected to be part of the Leadership Fox Cities class of 2018-19. Our class had the chance to spend nine months getting to know intricacies about our community that we were unaware of or, quite simply, took for granted. Our class was broken into small groups of individuals from all walks of life to complete a project. The parameters of the project were to give back in a sustainable way, addressing a challenge or opportunity in the Fox Cities our group felt was worthwhile. How could we intertwine our personal passions with a worthwhile endeavor to ensure a lasting
impact from our group? We learned of United Way’s 2-1-1, which provides free, confidential, 24/7 access to information on available resources and serves as a hub for community information in times of disaster. Only two of our members knew what 2-1-1 was, which was all the proof we needed that we would move forward with the idea to get the word out about this amazing resource.
Children are the future for which the bedrock of the Fox Cities is laid. The present, however, continues to be a more difficult road to navigate. Suicide, depression, and anxiety are up across the board for kids across the nation with no letup in sight. With this in mind, we focused on kids. We centered on how we can impact and influence the future Fox Cities Leadership members of tomorrow. We partnered with local high school students which gave us a broader audience and impact across Fox Cities’ schools. The project we laid before them was to develop a 30-second PSA for United Way’s 2-1-1. Appeal to your fellow classmates that 2-1-1 is a resource they can turn to. These students had a far better understanding of what their peers come face to face with each and every day.
The winning video was selected and premiered on the 5 o’clock
news and also slotted into their regular rotation to be shown for
the next year. Our group plans on continuing to work with local
high schools to ensure awareness of 2-1-1 grows.