2019-11-08 ne-uwrevealart

Kirk Hays, 2019 Tulsa Area United Way campaign chair and president and CEO of Arvest Bank, and Alison Anthony, president and CEO of the Tulsa Area United Way, applaud during the organization’s Unite event at First Place Tower in downtown Tulsa on Thursday. JAMES GIBBARD/for the Tulsa World

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Tulsa Area United Way’s successful 2019 campaign, most particularly the army of local citizens who agreed to pay their Fair Share.

The campaign announced Thursday evening that it had topped its $26,028,910 goal for the year. That’s a 3% increase from the agency’s 2018 mark.

It was close. Only a few days ago, the campaign was $800,000 shy of where it needed to get. The accomplishment speaks well of campaign chairman Kirk Hays, president and CEO of Arvest Bank, United Way President and CEO Alison Anthony and all the others in the campaign’s leadership. We know they were hustling all the way to the finish line because the goal is so important.

It’s important to note that the $26 million goal was set on the basis of need. United Way volunteers systematically review the missions, practices and demand for the agency’s 59 member agencies. That gives United Way donors the confidence that their money is being well spent where it is truly doing to most good.

But that process of determining the local need also obliges United Way on behalf of the community to meet the need. Goals aren’t based on what seems doable. They don’t measure the amount of energy the campaign organizers think they have for the year. They represent the amount the community can’t afford not to invest in itself.

Tulsa has always been an amazingly giving community, which is evidenced by the United Way’s ability to meet its goal year after year.

Every employer who participates, every worker who gives a Fair Share, every volunteer who works into the night to bring the annual campaign successfully across the finish line should take pride in the latest accomplishment. It represents a communitywide statement of faith in our ability to face our own realities and deal with them in a positive, effective way.


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