Remember radio DJ Casey Kasem, king of the top-40 countdown of the year’s most popular songs? Well as we come to the end of 2014, we’re counting down our 10 most popular blog hits. Comment, share or subscribe to our weekly blog for ongoing reminders of how your gifts are making a difference in the Valley. See if your favorite made the list.
10. My Year of Boundless Gratitude — Generation United member’s journal about the expressions of thankfulness she collected in an apothecary jar all year long.
“When I created my gratitude jar back in January, I didn’t foresee Generation United being a reoccurring resource for gratitude. Gen U has always been that; I just didn’t realize it until I began writing everything down.”
9. United Way Succeeds at Making Hunger History — Recap of United Way's Guinness World Record to End Hunger event where, in just three minutes, volunteers packed 1,993 food bags for the WeekEnd Hunger Backpack program, smashing the previous record by nearly 100 percent.
8. From One Volunteer Reader to Another — A volunteer’s view of United Way’s Million Minutes Challenge that provided 5.5 million volunteer minutes of reading to improve literacy skills for Valley children.
“One night my reading buddy got antsy after getting through a book or two. I recognized I was losing his interest, so I decided to take his lead to start building a fort out of the books surrounding us on the floor. He was engaged and using his imagination. We may not have read a story, but we created our own.”
7. Get Smart With Your Year-End Gift — Get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to $400 by giving to United Way’s Helping the Working Poor Fund by Dec. 31, 2014.
6. Abel Takes “Steps” Home — A hard working artist found himself on the streets after a series of hardships: the death of his mother, the amputation of his foot due to complications from diabetes. He slept in cardboard boxes until he found Stepping Stones Place, a supportive housing development.
5. Education Doesn’t Stop at High School — Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell shares his own journey from homelessness to a successful career as a professional athlete, and his work mentoring students like Anthony Marquez through United Way.
“Anthony and I are living up to the expectations of our fathers and inspiring others around us to succeed by putting education first and working hard.”
4. Fifth Graders Learn There’s a Lesson in Every Meal — Teacher Reid DeSpiegelaere describes the effects of chronic hunger on his students and the impact of United Way’s WeekEnd Hunger Backpack program to help them grow into healthy, successful adults.
3. 5 Tips to Spring Cleaning — Top tips from financial experts to help clean up your spending habits.
2. Teen Tips: How To Be Taken Seriously in Work and Life — An adult classroom mentor from United Way’s Destination Graduation program shares valuable tips for getting ahead in school and life.
And, our number one blog for 2014 is…
1. How Facebook Changed My Life — How a Facebook ad led a teen to United Way partner, ASPIRE, an organization that helps kids to find their way in education, life and career.
“Without seeing that ad on Facebook, I wouldn’t know where to start my journey forward. I’d be stuck working jobs that barely paid the bills instead of pursuing a career I love [as a registered nurse.]”