Helping Through the United Way

United Way

“Dr. Seuss, if you were here, what would you say?”

I imagine a kitchen
where goodwill abides
Where love, compassion
and kindness reside,

Where I’d cook up a stew
with  all these ingredients
Set to a boil and
remove with expedience.

Just so we know
there is plenty for all,
We’ll use a big spoon
for those large and those small.

We’ll serve Tuscarorans
from Kalamazoo
And Grinches whose hearts
are the coldest –  it’s true,
And yes, we will serve some
to Cindy Lu Who.

So, when we look back on the
gift that we gave,
We’ll have walked into light,
from the dark of the cave.

Dedicated to my friend, Janice Alvarez
By Frank Barksdale

“Whatever you can give, gives hope.”
I have been a volunteer in the Baltimore and the State College, Pennsylvania communities for a number of years working with so many people- not only the poor and the homeless.  I also work through service organizations like the Lions Club International, working in communities to provide information and resources to improve the lives of those with vision deficiencies.  Many like me give their time and financial support through their church or through a civic organization.

In our day to day lives, we tend not to think much about those in need because we get wrapped up in the issues that surround and are a part of our lives.  I didn’t give it a thought.  And then, it happened to me.

Years ago I worked as a technician in research here at the University.  My children were very young and I needed to work two jobs to make ends meet …  only they didn’t.   It’s a humbling feeling when the holidays roll around and you are faced with the dilemma of paying the gas and electric bill or getting gifts for the kids.  As hard as I worked, I couldn’t make it.  It was because of my family and my church that I was able to meet my financial obligations.  Even then  – with their support-  it was a very hard, long climb to get to a point of stability.

Many of us have a safety net of family and friends that we can turn to in difficult times.   We have had that special person or special people in our lives to step in and fill the gaps. Mom and Dad may have helped with college.  They may have helped by paying a bill when you were in grad or med school. People have been there for us to give us a recommendation or connect us with someone in the network of friends and employers.   It’s a “who you know” world.  We have been blessed with opportunities that many cannot even begin to imagine, because they exist in a day to day struggle of getting food on the table, clothing their children, staying warm, and keeping a roof over their heads.

Throughout all of my years of service, I sincerely believe that people just like us truly want to help.  Given our obligations, I understand that it is not easy to get out into the community and give time. Yet by your donation to the United Way, you are doing just that very thing. You are giving those of us who are out there the means to assist those who really need your help.

Please take a moment to review your United Way information and make a pledge.
When you do, you really can make a difference.
Thank you.

Frank Barksdale
Clinical Manager
Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories
Pathology Department
Immunopathology  Laboratory
ph: 410 614-6650
e-mail:  fbarksdale@jhmi.edu

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