The annual United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region fundraising campaign kicks off Monday, Sept. 14, and this year United Way is doing what's called a "virtual kickoff."

Rather than holding an event, United Way representatives are connecting with the community to share real stories of positive impact in people's lives.

“At United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region, we believe all people deserve opportunities to realize their full potential,” said Mike Larson, president and CEO of the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. “Collaboration remains critically important to our ability to positively impact lives.”

This collaborative idea began with four United Ways: United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo RegionCapital Area United WayUnited Way of Jackson Countyand United Way of Southwest Michigan. They worked through the Michigan Association of United Ways to invite others.

The shared virtual kickoff doesn’t replace local outreach, nor does it add any costs. It simply offers the chance to coordinate and share United Way’s message of impact and partnership on a larger scale.

So wherever you go in Michigan, watch for the evidence of the shared virtual kickoff starting Sept. 14. It’s a powerful example of United Way’s greatest strength: the spirit of collaboration that drives real, meaningful change in our communities.