Soon after we finished our December feature story on lending a helping hand (“Live the Good Life”), we learned of a cool campaign from the United Way of Greater Cleveland that may be the easiest way to make a difference ever devised. No check, stamp or credit card is needed. All that’s required is your mobile phone and your fingers. You can donate $5 to the United Way’s annual fundraising campaign by texting the word “CHANGE” to 864833 (“UNITED” on your phone’s keypad). Your donation is then tacked on to your next phone bill. As of press time, the United Way of Greater Cleveland was at 80 percent of its $40 million fundraising goal for this year. So, the next time you’re thinking about downloading that $5 app you’ll use a few times and then forget about, consider putting those 500 pennies toward a good cause.
We named Andrew Watterson one of the city’s Most Interesting People (January 2006) after he’d spent just six months as Cleveland’s sustainability director. This fall, after almost four years of helping Mayor Frank Jackson find ways to make City Hall more environmentally friendly and economically efficient, Watterson was promoted to chief of sustainability, a cabinet-level position charged with making the city’s entire economy more eco-friendly. The promotion came soon after Watterson helped assemble August’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit, a three-day meeting of 700 business leaders and civic activists. The summit generated a wealth of ideas, but Watterson’s work is just beginning. “It’s not only a good and right thing to do from an ethical point of view and morally,” Watterson says, “but it’s the right method to make sure we compete for the future.”