In an effort to help families with financial struggles supply their children with school supplies, the United Way had teamed up with the Department of Job and Family Services to provide those in need with book bags. Over 1,000 bags had been given away already, and United Way workers Kim and Susie Osburn felt the project had been pretty successful.
It was Kim who came to help him.
A father, with his children present, had come for some book bags. The emotion of the moment had gotten the better of him, and the man began to weep.
“I couldn’t have done this by myself.” The man said. “God bless you.”
The moment was the most profound of Kim’s time with the United Way.
“The more we get involved, the more we see the need for help.”
Perhaps this is why the husband-wife combination elected to accept the position of Co-Chairman of the United Way Fundraising Campaign for Williams County. And it is the United Way of the entire county.
“From Edgerton to Stryker,” Kim stated, “it’s all of Williams County’s United Way. Not just Bryan’s.”
Susie Osburn is an ideal choice to represent such an ideal, as she’s been very active throughout the county. She’s served the Bryan, Pioneer, and Montpelier Chambers of Commerce. Currently, she is still active in Bryan’s Chamber, in addition to acting as the Treasurer for the Black Sheep Harley Davidson’s For Christ charity. She’s even worked through her church, Life Changing Realities Fellowship, stationed in Edgerton, to provide meals for funeral dinners.
“We have a passion for the community.” Susie explained. “We want it to thrive.”
That passion quickly caught the attention of their fellow United Way workers. With the couple only joining the organization in March of this year, it was their dedication to the community that earned them this position so early into their tenure.
The Osburns are excited about the various programs the United Way funds within the area. Programs like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which will send every registered child under the age of five a book every month until they enter school.
“It’s great that children can have cuddle time while their parents read to them because their new book came in the mail.” Susie expressed.
The United Way also works with Families in Crisis, as well as local food banks to provide assistance to those in need. But it’s their work with victims of domestic violence about which Susie is most passionate.
“They have a need, and we are able to meet it. For me, that’s absolutely huge.”
These programs need funds of course, and raising them began at the Williams County Fair on Monday. In a ceremony that involved bands from all local high schools playing together as one, the Osburns hoped to raise $320,000 to help support the community. At the time of print, it was still unknown if they had succeeded.
The Osburns understand just how far this money can go within the community, when put to use properly.
“To me, the United Way is like a ripple effect.” Susie admitted. “You never know how far you reach.”
At least, not until you’ve seen a grown man cry.