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Jean Leger United Way message

Jean Leger United Way message


Hello, I’m John Leger and I am proud to serve as your OGE 2010 United Way Campaign leader. I’m proud to be a OGE member for many reasons. One is to be part of our tradition of giving and care to our communities through activities such as volunteerism and and supporting the United Way. Support of the United Way as been with us for many years and at times can become something that is almost automatic. Filling out a pledge card or not, becomes an annual routine and perhaps something to which we don’t give much thought or attention. I have to stop myself and ask, why should I care about United Way. In Oklahoma there are 22 United Way agencies supported by local donors that help meet the needs of over half a million Oklahomans each year. These agencies are assisted by thousands of volunteers, corporate and government partners and outstanding non-profit partner agencies. I think the United Way gets it right and understands the needs of our community. For years the United Way used the campaign slogan, This is Real Life. I have many blessings in my life and my career. And yes, I am one of the many people that has received real help from United Way partner agencies. As I tell this, my life and my family are not special or all that different. Before Patty and I had our first child, I had secretly in my heart filled out the order form for a son, six-foot-two, eyes of blue. I had thoughts of realizing unfulfilled dreams through him. Several months after he was born, we came to understand that Michael was created with Down Syndrome. He, as my other children, as been a blessing since the day he was born. He will never be able to function comfortably in society on his own. Today as a young adult he works for Goodwill Industries of Oklahoma, a non-profit United Way partner. Michael was recently featured along with other Goodwill employers in their annual report. Here are their words about Michael. Michael was faced with few opportunities after graduating from high school. He found his way to Goodwill in July of 2009 and has quickly developed into a model employee at our Edmond store. Michael sorts hangers, picks up clothing, straightens the shoe racks and opens the door for customers. Although he is very limited verbally, Michael rarely gets discouraged and has a spirit and resilience that is unparalleled. Because of his employment at Goodwill Michael has not only improved his work skills, but has also formed many good working relationships and friendships. He enjoys having a place to go everyday where he is valued and accepted by people in the community. In my words, Goodwill has changed Michael’s life and they’re helping him realize his full and complete potential. It is through sharing my story that I’ve had the privelage of many of our OGE brothers and sisters sharing with me their stories and life challenges. The needs of our OGE family, like those of our communities, are great. We are all part of that real life. United Way currently has a campaign slogan of Live United. It is through my personal experience that I also realize that few, if any can go at it alone. It takes all of us together caring for each other and giving to our potential to make a strong community. Which is why I’m led to make a simple ask of you. Don’t let your response to United Way be automatic. Take time to learn and reflect on the difference your support can make in the lives of many in our community and in our OGE family. Also consider giving the gift of your time. It is a tremendously rewarding experience. You will change your life and that of those that you help. Please make a donation. Let’s Live United and OGE proud together. Thank you.

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