All on the same team

You don't have to look very far to see the wonderful ways people in our community are influencing our world for the better. The past month has been full of examples, starting with United Way's Day of Caring. At the Quad Cities Community Foundation, our entire team closed down the office and joined more than 2,400 Quad Citizens to volunteer in our community.

(We even made the front page of the newspaper as we helped organize and distribute food from the River Bend Foodbank and Mobile Pantry!)

Across the Quad Cities, we worked alongside other nonprofits, business executives, students and more to assist nonprofits who are on the ground, each and every day, working to make life better for others. The day was a reminder, too, that everyday can be a day of caring, where we uncover the ways both large and small that we can provide an extra hand to someone in need.

Our community is full of passionate champions who step forward to meet the needs of our community through their time and resources. Recently, I had the opportunity to join a number of leaders in our region at the home of Caroline Ruhl. As co-chairperson of United Way's Women's Leadership Council, Caroline opened up her home to help the United Way of the Quad Cities Area recruit 100 new women as members of the Leadership Council.

Talk about people who are dreaming big, and taking action! The group of women are organizing to make sure that every Quad Cities child is successful in kindergarten. Through the United Way's Born Learning Program, the Leadership Council joins forces with United Way to help parents turn everyday moments into learning opportunities. From workshops to physical learning activities, a free imagination library to hygiene kits, the program will serve as a foundation for these kids to help them succeed in school, work and life.

As someone who has a passion for early childhood education, it is an honor for me to be part of this special leadership group.

I am deeply grateful for leaders like Caroline and the women who have stepped forward to be part of the Women's Leadership Council.

I am also grateful for the couple starting a new fund at the Community Foundation, and our dedicated staff who are creatively finding new ways to meet our mission of transforming the region through the generosity of our donors.

Indeed, we are surrounded by capable, imaginative, knowledgeable people who come from an array of cultures, experiences and socioeconomic backgrounds. The fact that we're all on the same team when it comes to improving this region is just one of the many reasons we have to celebrate this year.