Annie and Dennis Elmer Talk About Giving


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OP-ED – Oshkosh Area United Way

Giving is a simple concept.  We find something we are passionate about, we give.  We give our money, we give our time and we give our talents and expertise.  Some of us might be new to giving, and some of us have been giving for a lifetime.  Whatever the reason, giving is good.  It is good for the community and it is good for the soul.

When we were asked to chair this year’s Oshkosh Area United Way campaign we said “Yes” for a variety of reasons:  1) Our  United Way is implementing a dynamic strategic plan that will take the organization to a higher level of supporting our community,  2) We have a shared duty to make a difference in our community by engaging others in giving, 3)  The chance to work together as the first father/daughter team was appealing,  4) We are passionate about Oshkosh, and finally, 5) Because we were asked.

Our challenge this year is to raise $1.4 million, a big step towards the $2.5 million goal for 2021. Our strategy to reach this goal is simple.  We are inviting more people to join us in supporting Oshkosh and we are asking those who already give to give a little more if they can.  We are meeting with dozens of company CEOs, community leaders, and employees so we can share the stories of what United Way is doing in the community. We have great stories to tell:

  •       More than 1,200 children birth to 5 years of age develop a habit of reading that will empower them throughout their lives through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
  •      People find the help they need from 211, an information and referral service that connects people to community resources. 
  •      Children get the mental health services they need through counseling conducted right in their school.
  •      Visits to emergency departments at hospitals for dental issues have declined because of the Focus on the Children dental program.
  •      Homebound individuals can remain in their homes by receiving nutritious home-delivered meals.
  •      People facing a temporary emergency get the financial assistance they need to pay their rent or avoid a shut-off of their utilities.

When we come together as a community, we can do great things.  So now we are asking you to join us and support your community through this year’s United Way campaign.  No matter the size of your financial gift, this is your opportunity to find your passion and take a stand.  If it’s early childhood education you care about, please give.  If you are willing to be a champion to keep kids safe from neglect and abuse, please give.  If you want to support meals for seniors so they can continue to live in their homes, please give.  If helping your neighbors by supporting financial counseling or tax preparation is important to you, please give.  Your donation will stay right here in Oshkosh to support more than 50 local programs which focus on education, health, and financial stability.  We only have one life. To live better we must LIVE UNITED. 

If you would like to support Oshkosh through the United Way please contact the Oshkosh Area United Way at 235-8560.  We hope you will join us.




Dennis Elmer                                                     Annie Elmer

2017 Campaign Co-chair                           2017 Campaign Co-chair