— This week we celebrate Valentine’s Day — Happy Valentine’s Day! As I write this we are under yet another winter storm watch with more snow and blowing winds threatened. Let’s hope that when you read this, it is sunny, dry and warm! After the winter we have had so far, it is more than time for some warmth.
Make your Valentine’s Day provide some warmth for you, your family and friends. The day always stirs feelings of love, gratitude and loyalty. The feelings can be for a loved one — a fiancé, spouse, parent, child, sibling, family member or good friend. The feelings are most likely born out of a mutual respect, a relationship built on understanding, things held in common, and values that bind people together.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language lists the following definitions for love, loyalty and gratitude.
— Love — an intense affectionate concern for another person. A strong fondness or enthusiasm for something. The benevolence, kindness or brotherhood that man should rightfully feel toward others.
— Loyalty — Feelings of devoted attachment and affection. The state or quality of being loyal. Loyalty often implies a close and voluntary relationship.
— Gratitude — an appreciative awareness and thankfulness, as for kindness shown or something received.
Reading these definitions makes it easy to see the connection of these personal feelings to one’s cherished, chosen organization to which they donate or volunteer their time and talent. United Way is a grateful recipient of those feelings. One important reason that donors choose United Way is that they or a loved one has been a beneficiary of services provided through United Way. They appreciate the kindness shown or help received when needed. That gratitude becomes tangible in a gift of time, talent, or treasure to United Way.
Another very important reason that motivates many is the third definition of love that reads: “the benevolence, kindness or brotherhood that man should rightfully feel toward others.” Studies conclude that people see support of charitable organizations as an opportunity to take care of others, born out of benevolent feelings toward others. Recent studies also show that people who donate time or money to organizations through their workplaces make the workplaces happier and more productive — a nice added bonus!
Loyalty often implies a close and voluntary relationship. Donors and volunteers give freely — it is a choice. They become closer to the cause the more they give. Have you ever heard, or experienced, that when you have given something of yourself feely you receive as much or more back than you gave? Loyalty grows.
Gratitude — an appreciative awareness and thankfulness, as for kindness shown or something received. That definition sums up how all of us at United Way of Danville Area feel about our community on this Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day from the staff and board of directors to everyone, with a special shout out to our loyal donors and volunteers! Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.
Jeanne M. Mulvaney is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone: 442-3512.