By Theresa Reno-Weber
President/CEO Metro United Way
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Muhammad Ali famously once said, "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." As our community joins together to celebrate the ongoing I AM ALI Festival - focused this week on his core principle of giving - the Champ's message of service and giving back still rings true today, perhaps more than ever.
As a young Cassius Clay, the future world champion fought some of his earliest boxing matches in the building at Preston and Broadway that is now home to Metro United Way's headquarters. Today, it's from this location that Metro United Way fights for the education, health and financial stability of every person in Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham and Shelby counties in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana.
For 100 years, Metro United Way has been dedicated to improving lives in our community and that will never change. Along with our strong network of community partners, we are committed to reach our vision that every individual, child and family achieves their full potential and succeeds in life.
We know that vision is still out of reach for too many and that our community is wrestling with difficult challenges that negatively impact and cut short too many lives. Metro United Way brings together the people and resources needed to solve these challenges. And there are solutions at work in our community today with amazing results.
Like Muhammad Ali, we are changing the odds to create a legacy of achievement for generations to come. As an example, through our Black Male Achievement initiative, we are working to accelerate practices that improve the life outcomes of African American men and boys in our community while amplifying the positive contributions black men are making every day.
We know that the ultimate measure of our success is in the ways we impact the quality of life for all of us. This year as we celebrate Muhammad Ali's legacy and Metro United Way's 100th anniversary, let's embrace his quote that "true giving happens when we give from our heart."
Let's raise our hands and join together as a community to tackle our toughest challenges. Let's fight to improve lives person by person and family by family. Let"s remember when we Live United, we don't just change lives. We change what is possible.