What Do You Fight For?

Published

By: Amy Garvey, Manager, Content Marketing, UWNYC

What do you fight for?

Are you wondering why we’re asking this question?  

Let’s take a moment and think about the last few weeks. Have you been working on one or two New Year’s resolutions? Have you encountered a challenge or two along the way—a dark, cold morning where the gym seems super far and your bed perfectly warm; or, 5:30 PM at a demanding job that “needs” you to stay a few more hours while your kids eagerly wait for you at home.  

In moments like these, what did you choose—or rather, what did you fight for? Did you fight for good health? Did you fight for work-life balance and your family? There’s no denying it, these everyday moments powerfully add up to shape our lives and how we show up for others.   

Last year, we met a young, single mom named Stephanie. She had been dealt a difficult hand—her baby’s father had died, her own father had died, her mother had been deported, and she couldn’t find work. But she didn’t crumble. Stephanie chose to fight for a prosperous life—the life her dad would have wanted for his grandchild and her.   

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Stephanie had all the determination she needed to pursue her fight, but she needed help accessing the resources that would allow her to build a stable home. At a United Way of New York City–run career readiness workshop, Stephanie met Carol, a United Way volunteer and vice president at TD Bank. In that moment, Carol saw and admired Stephanie’s utter determination despite the challenges she’d faced.     

That moment between Stephanie and Carol changed Stephanie’s life. Carol connected Stephanie to a job at TD Bank—a job she loves with coworkers that are like family. After a few months, Stephanie and her baby moved out of a homeless shelter and into their very own one-bedroom apartment. And now, with her feet under her, Stephanie is thinking about going back to school to fight for her career aspirations and being the best mom she can be.    

At United Way of New York City (UWNYC), as we kick off our 80th Anniversary and count down to our Women’s Leadership Council’s (WLC) 12th Annual Power of Women to Make a Difference Award Luncheon on March 7, stories like Stephanie’s prove to us that now more than ever we need to commit ourselves to coming together for our neighbors in need.  

To help families like Stephanie’s thrive we need to make our impact as strong as possible by uniting our voices, inspirations, and beliefs.   

Starting tomorrow, we’re thrilled to spotlight 11 diverse powerful women, who are eager to share and unite around what they fight for to empower their communities. In honor of our 80th anniversary, each woman told us what they fight for and why in no more than 80 words.  

We invite you to jump in the conversation, reflect on your own answer, and share it. Visit us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn at @unitedwaynyc.