Caron Lawhorn: Fundraising in a pandemic? We can do it the Tulsa way, the United Way | Columnists

Our nonprofits have stepped up and refused to let the pandemic stop them from serving our community. Clients at A New Leaf, a Broken Arrow-based nonprofit helping individuals with disabilities live independently, have been cleaning the fitness facility at Broken Arrow Seniors so members can still meet daily to exercise and socialize. The work performed by A New Leaf keeps individuals actively engaged in work, while giving seniors the opportunity to maintain their physical and emotional health, which we know is so important during this challenging time.

For the past several months, I recruited colleagues throughout the community to serve on the campaign team. Much of that recruiting was done while these business and community leaders grappled with COVID-19. I was amazed at the number of people I asked to be a part of this year’s campaign who said “Yes!” I found it gratifying and inspiring that these already busy people are willing to take on this extra work on behalf of our community, while they may also be facing personal challenges of their own. It’s a selfless act of servant leadership that motivates me to work even harder.

While our business community is facing tough times of their own in this tough economic environment, so far in our conversations, not one company who ran a workplace campaign last year has said, “Not this year.” No one has turned down the opportunity to engage their employees in a United Way campaign to do something amazing for our community. Even though many workplace campaigns will be virtual, the needs are 100% physical and real. We are grateful for the businesses, the individual givers and the foundations that keep showing up for their friends, family members and neighbors in need.

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