A Day of Caring

Posted by Brad Smith
Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Today, more than 10,000 friends, neighbors, colleagues and citizens will participate in the United Way of King County Day of Caring. It’s an opportunity for people to connect with their local community and make a difference – whether it’s helping people who have become homeless, assisting with the completion of a tax return, reading to kids, or undertaking a habitat restoration project. People can make a difference.

On a personal note, today also marks an important part of co-chairing the United Way of King County’s annual campaign with my wife Kathy Surace-Smith. When we agreed to co-chair together, we toured many of the service agencies supported by United Way and experienced first-hand, the challenges facing local community organizations. It’s one of the reasons we are both excited to take part in an event that benefits a huge cross-section of our community in a direct way.

The turnout for this year’s Day of Caring is the biggest ever and is a great testament to the leadership the United Way has shown encouraging and helping people get involved by volunteering. There’s no question that more and more people in our society feel an increased desire to connect to their community. The need is more acute in today’s struggling economy, and a volunteer’s impact is greater than ever.

The United Way of King County just launched a new volunteering website to provide people with an easy way to find volunteering opportunities in their community, not just on the Day of Caring, but year round. This new site, which was supported by the Raikes Foundation and Microsoft, is just one example of how the organization is striving to increase its impact and effectiveness, by making it easier for people to get involved.

At Microsoft we have a long and proud partnership with United Way. They are an important part of our local Microsoft Unlimited Potential efforts, which focus on helping create opportunities and solve local challenges in our community.

Today, nearly 5,000 Microsoft employees are out volunteering across the county in a range of different large and small projects; making a difference in their local communities. One of the common traits I find across our company wherever you are in the world, is the passion and commitment of our people to volunteer in their local communities, support the issues and causes they are passionate about, and ultimately make a positive impact. As a company, our role is to help them to make that contribution.

The Day of Caring is a great time to stop and reflect about the positive impact we can all have in our local community, wherever you are. For details about what’s happening in our community today, visit http://www.uwkc.org/volunteer/dayofcaring/default.asp

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