By Marianne Glick
Increasing the fun factor and including play has always been an integral part of my life. My earliest recollection of this occurred when I was only 5 years old. Even at that early age, I wanted to be right in the center of any activity that was taking place. My kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Morgan would select girls to participate in games or lead groups based on the color of their clothing. I longed to be chosen more frequently, so one day I came to school wearing seven skirts and 4 blouses…each a different color. No matter what color she called out, I’d be able to participate. My mother ran into Mrs. Morgan about 10 years ago and said that the incident still stood out in her mind. No other child in her 50 year career as a teacher had ever done something similar.
“To emphasize the idea of dreaming big, I often wore Joseph’s Technicolor dream coat to corporate presentations and spoke about how United Way helps dreams come true for so many people in our community.”
When I took on the chairmanship of the United Way’s annual campaign last year, I wanted to make sure that lots of people had a chance to participate and to make participation fun. The theme for the campaign was Dream Big, Give Gleefully, Live United. To emphasize the idea of dreaming big, I often wore Joseph’s Technicolor dream coat to corporate presentations and spoke about how United Way helps dreams come true for so many people in our community. We also launched a video competition called “give gleefully.” Individuals and corporations could enter two minute videos that shared a personal story of how their lives had been touched by United Way, how they volunteered for United Way or somehow played on the United Way mission. People had a lot of fun making these videos and the companies that participated had an average increase in their campaigns of 13%.
“My mission in life is to ignite, inspire and direct energy for positive action and I make every effort to carry out that mission with a joyful spirit”
Chip Edgington, CEO of Redcats USA sent me an email after a recent presentation. “I just want to thank you for participating in Redcats United Way roll out yesterday. You bring so much spirit and passion to the “party”, that it is inspiring for many of my team members (and me too)! Between your crazy hats and wonder woman outfit and of course your lively approach, it is a much more effective approach than the buttoned down version of yesteryear. I am so happy when I hear the laughter and the response from the audience because community service should be an uplifting experience, despite some of the sober challenges we face.”
My mission in life is to ignite, inspire and direct energy for positive action and I make every effort to carry out that mission with a joyful spirit.
Artist and philanthropist Marianne Glick is the board member at Eugene & Marilyn Glick Family Foundation, president and owner of GlickArt and serves as Co-Chairman of the 2012 Campaign for United Way of Central Indiana. She has been a philanthropist and high-level volunteer par excellence, helping to lead more than 20 local organizations.