A Rabbi, An RV, and a Higher Reason for Giving

In April, we received a seemingly random $100 check from Rabbi Jeff and Mindy Glickman who live in Connecticut. It turns out this generous couple gave $100 to EVERY local United Way across the country! 

That's more than 800 gifts sprinkled across the land. But that's just the beginning...  
The inspiration came as a result of the Glickmans' recent cross-country travels in "Seymour," their RV. Their itinerary did not include attractions or amusement parks. They met real people in their homes and communities. As the Glickman's traveled the United States, they visited local places and met people, learning about the needs of remote communities. The organizations they visited included synagogues, social service agencies, and media outlets.  
One month and 12,000 miles later, the Glickmans say they returned home with a better understanding of the distinct needs of many local communities, and made their unique philanthropic gift to every local United Way, NPR station, and ACLU office in the country.  
Upon receiving a thank you note and newsletter from our organization, Rabbi Glickman called our office last month and spent 45 minutes on the phone with Linda Sundberg, our Bookkeeper, asking questions about the specific human service needs of Logan County and our response to them. 
While speaking with Linda, he asked her to check her e-mail. During their conversation, he'd authorized an additional $5,000 from his trust fund to come to United Way of Logan County!   
"I can't think of a better investment in America than to contribute to your United Way," said Rabbi Glickman. 
"We gave you two things -- a donation and a story. It was our story, but now you are a part of it, so it is your story as well. The story is more powerful than the donation. Tell the story that if a stranger thinks that what we are doing is valuable, so should we. Encourage others to give. Ironically, the 'clients' of the United Way of Logan County are BOTH the needy AND those whose names are on the bottoms of the checks. When you encourage others to give, you provide an avenue for them to be connected to the world. It helps the donor as much as the recipient."
Click here to learn more about the Glickmans' inspirational travels.