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12 ways to Live United in 2019

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“New year, new me.” That’s often the mindset when we embark on a fresh January. The thing is, it’s not necessary to reinvent yourself in order to make a difference in the world in the New Year. In reality, there are many simple steps you can take that will make an enormous positive impact on your community.

We’re calling those steps for 2019 the ’12 Ways to Live United.’

1. Volunteer. There are countless volunteering opportunities in our community. To give the gift of yourself this New Year, go to wevolunteer.org and find the volunteering opportunity that best suits you.

2. Help your neighbor. Whether it be shoveling their walk, checking on them on cold days, or simply saying hello – the littlest things can make the biggest impact.

3. Say ‘thank you.’ The simple gesture can go a long way in showing appreciation for those in your life doing good for you or their community. A modest ‘thank you’ can be the greatest gift you can give someone this holiday season.

4. Take time to care for yourself. It’s easy to concern yourself over taking care of loved ones, but take some time and take care of yourself too. Self-care can go a long way, especially as you embark on a new year.

5. Read to a young child. One of the most beneficial activities in developing a young child’s intelligence is reading to them. Take the time to read to a child this year, and, if you’re interested, volunteer through United Way’s I READ program to ensure local children are getting the regular support and educational nutrients that lead to lifelong success. For more information, go to wevolunteer.org/iread.

6. Donate to help kids succeed in school.  Give the gift of ensuring some of the youngest members of our community are on a path towards success. Helping young students succeed socially and academically can be the strongest tool towards ensuring the success of our region moving forward. United Way is on the front lines of helping those students, and your donation could help strengthen that effort even more. Donate today.

7. Use your voice to make a change. Reach out to your local politicians to speak up on issues you’re passionate about. Find your elected officials here.

8. Refer those in need to call 2-1-1. Whether it’s rent assistance, food sources, affordable housing, child care or job training, United Way 2-1-1 can provide those resources, plus much more, to loved ones who need it. More information can be found at unitedwayrrv.org/211.

9. Take pride in your neighborhood. If you see a piece of trash on the ground in your neighborhood, pick it up. Showing a pride and appreciation in your neighborhood can inspire the same from your neighbors, and make your entire community a better and happier place.

10. Go outside and enjoy nature. Set down the phone, turn off the computer, and get some fresh air. There are plenty of hiking trails, walking paths, sledding hills and even ski slopes in the Rock River Valley. Use those spaces and get outside in the New Year.

11. Show respect to others. Show kindness and respect to someone different than you in your community. Whether that be someone with a different upbringing, outlook on life, or giving a hug or handshake to that Packers fan in your life.

12. Make a contribution to United Way. Give a gift that will make our entire community healthier, in a variety of ways. Help children achieve their potential through education. Help families achieve financial stability. Help community residents improve their overall health and well being. Giving to United Way is the most efficient way to improve and bring positive change to your community. Donate today.

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