United Way giving allows business to improve lives in Whatcom County

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 7, 2013 

Whatcom County is an amazing place, and many of us who live and work here feel very lucky to do so. This time of year, I feel especially fortunate because it is the season of the United Way Campaign and a chance to make a difference at work -- not just for co-workers, my company or our clients, but for the entire community. It is a time to witness our community's capacity for caring and generosity that is truly amazing.

Each fall, GeoEngineers participates in United Way's workplace giving campaign. So as the leaves start to change, we get to show our true colors as well. How? By choosing to "live united" and give back to the community we love so much. Being part of this effort is easy and fun. We set aside a bit of time during a fall staff meeting to hear from a variety of community experts, including United Way staff, about key issues facing Whatcom County. We also get to hear about the many wonderful people and programs working to address these issues and -- more importantly -- how we can roll up our sleeves to help. Every year, I learn something new about my community, and I'm always amazed at the network of organizations and the many ways they are working together to solve complex problems and build a stronger, healthier Whatcom County. It takes a variety of people and programs moving in the same direction to make a collective impact on a community. United Way has the knowledge and ability to create community-wide change and we get to be a part of it.

For more than 20 years, GeoEngineers and many of our employees have supported United Way. GeoEngineers realizes the great work United Way does and sees that no other organization is as well established, efficient and diverse in its ability to impact the community. United Way has a wide-ranging positive effect by focusing on solutions that create change. GeoEngineers shows support by providing a 30 percent match for all individual contributions made by our staff to United Way, so we have an opportunity to stretch our charitable dollars during the campaign.

As an employee, I am proud to work for a business that cares so much about its employees and this community that they are willing to come together in support of United Way of Whatcom County's Community Impact Fund, an effort that raises the levels of education, income and health throughout the county. Supporting United Way's efforts to build a stronger community doesn't just feel good, it makes good sense. Healthy businesses and healthy communities go hand in hand. The economy and health of our community affects our ability to thrive as an enterprise. When communities are prosperous, we all benefit. We all win when kids succeed in school, when families are able to reach financial stability, and when friends and neighbors are living healthy and active lives. GeoEngineers knows that if we all pitch in together to give, we can make a huge difference. I am proud to say that the Bellingham GeoEngineers office has 100 percent employee participation! If you're part of a local company, big or small, I invite you to join us, along with hundreds of other businesses, organizations and volunteers who are making a positive impact every day by giving to United Way. If you have not made a United Way gift in the past, please consider doing so for the first time. Live united, it feels great!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Arrigoni is an administrative coordinator and marketing assistant for GeoEngineers, a Bellingham earth science and technology consulting company. She has volunteered to lead the United Way employee giving effort at her workplace for many years. United Way of Whatcom County runs more than 150 workplace giving campaigns during the fall to benefit Whatcom County's Community Impact Fund, which focuses on education, income and health. For more information about conducting a United Way workplace campaign, contact Kristi Birkeland at 360-733-8670. For more information about the United Way of Whatcom County, go online to unitedwaywhatcom.org.

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