But sometimes when we hear those two little words, they are so sincere and heartfelt that we can actually feel them. Such was the case the evening of November 2, 2011 at the Art Gallery of Alberta when a group of United Way’s major donors joined the organization’s staff for a special sponsored recognition reception.
When Nimera Kalmbach and her daughter Sierra were invited to the podium by the event co-hosts, the Honourable A. Anne McLellan and Eric Young, Q.C., they looked like any other invited guests. But when Kalmbach spoke, holding back tears, it became obvious that she and her family are very thankful recipients of support from their community.
“I can’t tell you how grateful we are for you and your support to United Way,” Kalmbach said. “To think that each and every day, you wake up and make a conscious decision to help someone in your community. To think that you care enough about others that you chose to make a significant contribution to United Way. You care about your community, you care about us, about my family – thank you.”
“Thank” and “you” are just two little words, but when spoken with the amount of emotion and sincerity as Kalmbach delivered, they pack some power – and there were a few misty eyes after her heartfelt speech. That’s exactly what the evening reception was all about, to say “thank you” and celebrate community spirit.
Ten-year-old Sierra Kalmbach was born with profound deafness that went undetected until she was nearly two years old. The family struggled to understand what was wrong with their little girl and as she got older, her learning was delayed. Then Sierra’s family discovered United Way Member Agency Connect Society. Sierra is now fully integrated into a regular school classroom, where she does very well in her studies.
The event was sponsored by four very supportive United Way advocates (Deloitte, Capital Power Corporation, Worley Parsons and CoSyn Technology) and recognized those who have helped build community through their support to United Way. If it weren’t for these organizations, United Way could not have held this special event.
Photography by Nancy Critchley: click on images for slide show