Moffat County United Way: We must support one another | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County United Way: We must support one another

Kristen Vigil

In a community where people are expected to be able to do it all themselves, there is often little patience for those who have not been able to make everything work out successfully. We have a phrase in the West, and an expectation that comes with it: "You have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps." Don't rely on anyone else; no one owes you a thing. But have you actually tried to pull yourself up by your bootstraps? Try it, and you'll see it is impossible.

People are taught that hard work and determination will solve all their problems, but through the work I am doing now, I know this is not always true. While motivation and persistence are important traits, it would be ignorant of me to categorize every person as the same.

Picture your life for a moment. Consider your childhood, your family, your adult life, and what has led you to today. If you ask friends about their paths, each story would likely result in something different than your own. I know that what worked for me may not be the answer for someone else.

Through Moffat County United Way's "Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin'-By World" program, we recognize each story individually by considering commonalities and differences among the entire group of people accepted into our class. We see our clients as problem solvers, and we empower them to build their resources.

We believe in building relationships of trust and integrity. Through our program, people have someone they can call to talk about options and receive help to develop a new story for their future. The beauty of Getting Ahead is that people can find new answers to the same problems they have solved again and again.

I think the real answer is that we must support each other in developing resources; we can help someone find boots, pull them on, and securely begin taking one step in front of the other to build a brighter future.

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If you or someone you know is low-income, just getting by, and ready for change, call 970-326-6222 to learn more. Getting Ahead is offered each spring and fall.

Kristen Vigil is community impact coordinator for Moffat County United Way.