Yesterday we started filming with Kranky Plate Productions for our 100 Year Centennial Video at the new Chautauqua Center on Institute Street in Jamestown, NY. I can proudly admit, I’m a total geek – I love technology and all that goes into the makeshift of these marketing pieces.
The folks over at KPP are SO FUN, super sweet, and the end-result is always amazing! What did we film? Stories! 100 Stories.100 Years. I learned so much in these 4 hours – Generations upon generations that have impacted SO many people. Starting in 1920 to now, and what an honor to be part of such a legacy. We have another video session to capture and hopefully able to showcase this video at the end of this month. (I’ve included some behind the scenes photos to showcase the fun of our morning).
A little about me and what drove me to United Way of Southern Chautauqua County.
I previously held a marketing position for a worldwide corporate giant – this position, after 14 years, would eventually be merged with another property out of town and eliminated.
I found myself out of work.
I didn’t really know a lot about the United Way, I’d heard of them, seen their logo, but what I would soon learn about this incredible local organization still blows my mind.
Every year Hundreds of humble, and successful people SHOW UP – not because they have to, but because they want to.
They show up to donate, they show up to volunteer, they show up to make important funding decisions, they show up for bagging groceries with our friends at Wegmans and Tops Markets, they show up to be a part of our campaign teams, they show up to help with the Community Baby Shower. They have shown up for 100 years consecutively in some form or fashion to help people with the current complex problems our community faces.
They don’t get paid for this – they don’t receive a bonus check – they simply do it because they know the value of United Way and what it means to our community and the people we serve.
Some are even past recipients of a United Way funded program.
My first campaign video , segments “Who We Fight For.” I learned so much about people who have been impacted from United Way Programs.
These aren’t people who abuse financial systems –
These are people who are passionate about making a different future for themselves and their family.
These are people who have connected with programs to keep their mental health and balance in their daily lives, and without these programs, they would be alone or may not be here.
These are children who receive tutoring and mentorship for educational and life struggles.
These are people who receive a place to sleep and guidance to a better life than being homeless.
These are Our people and Our neighbors that we are fighting for every day.
This years’  campaign video, keeping along the same thought of “Fighting For” but spun it just a little to showcase who does the fighting -- the “Faces of Change.”
These are a snapshot of individuals who donate, who volunteer, who work at agencies, who are the ones fighting for our neighbors that are needing help.
Now, for this 100th Year , we get to share stories and it’s so exciting to me.
For others to continue to learn the impact of who we are, why we’re here, what has been done, and what challenges we will face.
How do you showcase an organization best? … the Stories! And you just may recognize some familiar faces along the way.
Cynde Johnson, Marketing & Resource Development Coordinator of United Way of Southern Chautauqua County and a resident of Jamestown.
This column is part of many, in which various residents of our community will share their United Way story and how United Way has personally impacted them and their families.
Watch the videos referenced in this blog at United Way of Southern Chautauqua County’s Youtube page or click here: United We Fight, United We Win, Change Doesn't Happen Alone