Visiting United Way and learning about LIVE UNITED

Posted by Ryans Dad on 13th November 2009

Yesterday my wife and I escorted Ryan on a visit to the offices of the United Way of Broome County located here in Vestal, NY. After the Staff and Board of Directors learned of Ryan’s intention to support United Way, they extended an invitation for him to visit.

Ryan showing off his LIVE UNITED shirt!

Ryan showing off his LIVE UNITED shirt!

On the way to their offices Ryan was full of questions about the United Way. What charities do they help? Would they want his building blocks? What does “LIVE UNITED” mean? All good questions and perfect for discussion during our visit.

We were hosted for the visit by Mr. Bruce Dudley, the Communications Director for United Way of Broome County. Mr. Dudley had lots of good questions for Ryan about his business and his building blocks. That was really great for helping Ryan to get comfortable with the visit. I notice that when ever Ryan is asked to talk about his building block business or better yet to show them to someone, his face lights up a bit and his shyness seems to fade. He really likes what he is doing.

We learned that United Way supports one of Ryan’s chosen charities, SOS Shelter. Ryan also learned that United Way supports a few other organizations which he is aware of or even involved with such as Boy Scouts of America and the JCC where Ryan had pre-school and now attends after school programming.

Ryan receives his own LIVE UNITED t-shirt

Ryan receives his own LIVE UNITED t-shirt

During the course of our visit Ryan also learned what “LIVE UNITED” means. Mr. Dudley explained by telling Ryan that “We all live in the world together and depend on one another. When we help one person we are helping everyone and that is what it means to LIVE UNITED”. He went on to tell Ryan the by doing what he is doing, supporting the United Way and other charities, he is LIVING UNITED too.

Then Mr. Dudley gave Ryan a gift, the LIVE UNITED t-shirt you see here. Ryan was delighted to have received the shirt. He had already seen some of these shirts. Over the last few weeks we had been researching various charity organizations with Ryan. While learning about United Way we watched their new videos which talk about LIVE UNITED.

I think by the time our visit was over Ryan was even more confident in his intent to support United Way. Every day is a learning opportunity in some way.

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13Nov