5/6/21 - RICK KAZMER - United Way of the Laurel Highlands
While most of society was on lockdown for much of the last 14 months, Rabbi Jeff Glickman and his wife, Mindy, were in the midst of a four-week, 12,000-mile trip around the country.
It wasn’t part of a unique vacation. The Glickmans wanted to learn more about distinct needs in local communities. It was as much about listening as it was about physically making the one-month trip, according to accounts of the journey on their website, turntothewonderful.com. They called the trip “Tour to the Wonderful.”
They traveled around the country, starting in Connecticut, in their RV named Seymour.
"We didn't see national parks or amusement parks. We met real people in their homes and communities. This is the listening part of the tour,” the couple wrote on their website.
The Glickmans visited synagogues, social service agencies and media outlets along the way, learning more about the needs of people in remote locations at each spot. They were inspired to help out – everywhere. They began making donations to organizations, including local United Way branches.
The Laurel Highlands became part of the legacy of the journey.
They found that, “When we give remotely, there are added benefits. The recipient knows that their cries resonate far; That they matter on a grand scale,” they wrote on their website, which chronicles the trip, and also the giving journey that developed.
When United Way of the Laurel Highlands Community Impact Manager Paula Gojmerac received a $100 check from the Glickmans, she penned them a hand-written thank-you note.
“(A)nd said how wonderful to help all UW’s across the country,” Gojmerac said.
After recently receiving the note, Rabbi Glickman called the United Way of the Laurel Highland’s office, thanking Gojmerac for the word of thanks.
As she was explaining the work the organization completed in Cambria and Somerset Counties, Glickman sent Gojmerac an email with another contribution. He told Gojmerac that he was impressed with the work being completed locally.
“They are doing this because of the pandemic,” she said.
The Glickmans’ generosity will help the United Way of the Laurel Highlands fund youth drug and alcohol prevention, early childhood education, parental engagement and other crucial health and human services in Cambria and Somerset Counties.
As the Glickmans say on their website, “A little support goes a long way.”
“When Bible says to love the stranger, it does not say that the stranger needs to live in a certain place.”