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United Way: Use Summer to Aid Community

CEO asks people to use the longer days to help make neighborhoods a better place.

The following is a Letter to the Editor submitted to Patch by the United Way of Northern New Jersey.

Nick Zechmeister was a finish carpenter and I was his apprentice. He taught me the right way to hold a hand saw, the right way to approach the wood and even how to set the saw down–handle first–so the handle wouldn’t break if it fell over.

Nick is one of several mentors in my life who have made an investment in me, sharing their time, skills and care to see that I succeed. I’ve tried to pay that gift forward, doing the same in my adult life with youth groups and colleagues.

At United Way, we call this Living United. We all have something within us that we can share with someone else in a time of need. On June 21, the Summer Solstice, we celebrated the nationwide day of service campaign called United Way "Day of Action." I encourage you to make the most of these long summer days to make a difference in our communities at a time when we all know there are outsized needs. 

Volunteering can be as simple as mowing a neighbor’s yard or grocery shopping for someone with a disability. At United Way of Northern New Jersey, we hope you’ll consider volunteering as more than just a once-a-year activity.

To help you get started, we provide an all-inclusive website, accessible atwww.UnitedWayNNJ.org/BecomeAVolunteer, which lists volunteer opportunities across the region year-round. You can search your local area, either by zip code or keyword, and locate volunteer opportunities.

You can make a difference. Mentor a child. Stock a food pantry. Spruce up a community center.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make your life and the community better. 

- John Franklin, CEO, United Way of Northern New Jersey

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