Duct tape is one of the staples of almost any toolbox on the planet. It’s reliable, water resistant, tough, sticky, and can be used for almost any situation. Every respectable “do-it-yourselfer” has a roll in the back of the truck, in the junk drawer, or the garage. It can be used in virtually any repair (some of these are actually pretty clever) all the way up to high fashion.
So where did it come from? According to DuckBrand.com, the makers of “Duck Tape:”
“It was World War II and there was a need for a strong, flexible, durable, waterproof tape that could seal canisters, repair cracked windows, repair trucks and help the war effort in general. Permacell, a division of the Johnson and Johnson Company, stepped up to this challenge.
Using medical tape as a base, they applied two new technologies. Polycoat adhesives gave the tape its unshakable stick and polyethylene coating allowed them to laminate the tape to a cloth backing, making it extremely strong and flexible. The resulting tape was nicknamed “Duck Tape” for its ability to repel water, while ripping easily into strips for fast convenient use.
After the war the tape was put to the more civilian use of holding ducts together. So the product changed from a nameless army green tape to the familiar gray duct tape.”
I would submit that United Way is, in fact, America’s duct tape. United Ways exist in some form or fashion in most communities across the country. The services and agency support that United Ways fund simply solve problems. Just as the lovable roll of gray tape fixes hundreds of household problems in need of a quick and reliable repair, United Way provides support for health and human service agencies that offer that same reliable “repair” for whatever problem you may be facing. While each United Way is operated independently, and solves its own community issues, the same is true for duct tape; everyone uses it to repair their specific household problems.
I know this comparison might seem like a stretch, but think about the possibilities and the myriad of repairs one single roll of duct tape can make. Now just think for example, about United Way of the Greater Triangle and its 78 partner agencies and 150 funded programs that address health and human service needs in the Triangle in 2012. If you take anything away from this post, it should be that you should never be without duct tape or your local United Way.