Monday, July 14, 2014





No secret password needed to connect with community


April 27. 2013 11:21PM


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This is probably not something I should admit so publically, but it really isn’t much of a secret especially among my friends and co-workers, that I am a very low-tech guy.


In fact, despite some of my best efforts, it is safe to say new technology and I really just don’t get along. Whether it is the laptop, smart phone, iPad, Kindles or TiVo, the problem I have with all these “life-changing” gadgets is that if you don’t press the right buttons or icons in the right order, the darn things just don’t work the way you want them to. At one point in the mid-nineties, I had even hoped that the Internet was just a passing fad. No such luck. Thanks, Al Gore.


Despite a number of protests and painful experiences along the way, I am thankful that my skills have slightly improved over the years. Technology has certainly changed the way we communicate and I really did not have much of a choice but to get on board. I even created my own Facebook account recently.


So with improved competency and proficiency, I can now search for information, communicate with my bank, utilities and insurance companies, manage my calendar, shop online, pay bills, and interact with friends across the country.


As great as all this is, I have encountered another new problem -- the endless need for passwords! Everything you do these days seems like you need a darn password to do it. Best practices tell us not to write them down for security reasons, but who can remember a dozen or more passwords. I have to reset my sign-ons all the time. It’s so frustrating!


Thankfully, though, there are still things in life that you can do without a password. As the United Way of Wyoming Valley prepares for its Annual Day of Caring in May, it occurs to me that you don’t need a password for many of the things that improve our community and make us better neighbors to each other. You don’t need a password to be compassionate, to care, to be charitable or to serve others in need.


You certainly don’t need a password to brighten someone’s day or lighten another’s burden. The United Way’s 21st Annual Day of Caring will be on Wednesday, May 29. There are plenty of projects to be completed, and we hope a number of employers will allow and encourage their employees to form a work group and participate. Individuals are welcomed as well. For more information on how to be involved, please see our website at www.unitedwaywb.org.


Martin Luther King Jr. told us that “anybody can be great because anybody can serve. You do not need a college degree to serve; you don’t even need your subject and verb to agree to serve. All you need is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”


At the United Way, we would like to invite those of you who have hearts full of grace and souls generated by love to continue to serve and support the community we call home.


During our Day of Caring and throughout the year, through the United Way, you can volunteer, donate and even be life-changing.


Should you choose to do so, I am quite certain you can make a meaningful difference without knowing what order to push any icons or needing yet another dreaded password.


Bill Jones is the President and CEO of the United Way of Wyoming Valley. He can be reached at 829-6711 ext. 230.




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