Top 5 Reasons Why I Donate to the United Way of Portage County

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Peter Blenker and Pam Jewell in front of their fundraising sign in Rosholt, Wisconsin.
  1. I give, not because I have so much, but because I remember what it was like to have nothing. Growing up, I was one of five kids and times were different. It was hard being the kid in school who didn’t have the NEW stuff to start, it sets you apart.
  2. I believe wholeheartedly in the “pay it forward” philosophy. Watch the movie and it will change your life. I think most of us can think of someone in our life that helped us out when we really were in need. When I went to college, I rarely had enough money even for food, but I was lucky enough to have my best friends family who treated me like their own daughter and always brought enough food for both of us. This is just one instance of the kindness of others making my life better. Now I try to find someone who needs MY help in the hopes that it will give them a better life and someday they can do the same for another. This is the Circle of Life I would like to create.
  3. I believe in the Law of Abundance. I think the more you give, the more you get back. Not necessarily monetarily, but in the enrichment of your life through knowing you are helping others. Whatever you do, is mirrored back to you. I choose generosity.
  4. I believe in living a life with “no regrets,” you can put that on my tombstone when I am gone. Too often we let an opportunity pass us by because we are too busy, or too broke or too something. I try to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.


“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Etienne de Grellet


  1. I believe that “If it is to be, it is up to me.” One person CAN make a difference. I have seen this in my own life and in those I have known. This is my responsibility to help those in need, not someone else’s. I take it very seriously and hope that I have raised my children to do the same—I think I have, since they are all involved in this campaign as well. What a legacy to pass when one generation to the next, if we don’t keep doing this, it will die and then who will help others?


“If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.”

- Emily Dickinson

I live my life by sayings, they are all over my bulletin board in my workshop as a reminder that it is up to me to do what I can to make our own little world a little better.