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The Chamber Blog

This space features conversations about issues affecting the Decatur-Morgan County area from leaders in our community.

The United Way: A Spirit of Community

When you interview for a new position, especially in a new community, it’s an exchange of thoughts and ideas that both sides hope will lead to a good fit.

I came to Decatur in 1991 through an executive search firm to talk with a search committee about my current position, president and CEO of the Chamber. We talked for several hours – them learning about me and my background, seymour headshotand I learning about their Chamber and the community. We wanted to learn all we could about each other in the time we had available.

It’s hard to know about a community from all the glossy brochures and nice things committee members say. While those have great value, there are several key indicators that get to the heart of a community’s character.

One indicator, and one I asked the committee about, is the involvement of citizens in non- profit, volunteer opportunities. When I asked how much the local United Way chapter had raised that year, I was shocked. Based on the population, it was the most I had ever heard of a similar-sized community raising in a single campaign.

A commitment from citizens to support and lift up those less fortunate in their society is a testament to the spirit of a community. As an organization that relies on volunteerism and caring for important community issues, the Chamber
depends on finding those who are looking to serve. And finding them hasn’t been a problem for the nearly 25 years I have been here. Morgan County has proven volunteerism and service to be part of its cultural fabric. It is who we  are.

With that in mind, it is time for everyone to open our hearts, get involved and give. In a community of nearly 120,000, the United Way of Morgan County impacts more than 32,000 people through its network of partner agencies. It is supported by 100 companies and more than 7,000 citizens who give via payroll deduction or individual donations.

Nearly 30 agencies receive help through the United Way, and it would be hard to believe that any one of those agencies hasn’t in some way impacted the lives of every citizen in Morgan County.

As I learned 25 years ago when I came to Morgan County, this is a giving community made up of citizens that care about each other and the neighbor. Please join me in being a contributor to this worthwhile agency. To learn more about how you and your business can get involved, click here.

John Seymour is the president and CEO of the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber. He has served in the role since coming to Decatur in 1991 and is responsible for the overall direction and management of the Chamber. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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