In the fall of 2000, our community of Hamburg, New York launched a town-wide character initiative, championed, coordinated and resourced by the Character Council of Hamburg, Inc. After celebrating ten years of service, the Fall of 2010 was marked by an expanded commitment, inviting the Western New York Region to join us in our mission, “Creating a Culture of Character,” within individual communities. Emboldened by the foresight to see that at the root of each controllable, critical, community challenge is an issue of character, we envision communities that are attractively different because they purposefully focus on emphasizing the most important attribute that brings success… personal character, the inward motivation to make wise choices, hold thoughtful attitudes, and do right things. We envision communities that place a priority on an individual’s responsibility for his or her own disposition, words and actions; encourage and praise excellence in character; and strive to reinstate universal community standards of respect, integrity and virtue.

We see

  • That the emphasis of positive character qualities in every sector of society can only occur as individuals commit themselves to exemplifying character in their personal lives and inspiring others to do the same;
  • Character development within the family as central to initiating character enhancement throughout each community;
  • Stable, harmonious, healthy families because of relationships formed through good character;
  • Families working together as having the ability to be the primary source and driving force for the occurrence of a societal shift toward quality of character;
  • Citizens supporting and encouraging each other as we expand our understanding of how our character affects the moment-by-moment decisions we make;
  • Comprehensive character education effectively contributing to exemplary education in every school, elementary through post-secondary, complementing character development in the home and thereby helping to strengthen the conviction to a strong moral foundation for our youngest citizens;
  • A healthy moral, emotional, and achievement climate for our children in which self-control is honored and the ability to make wise decisions is nurtured;
  • Commendable economic development because we pay attention to building strong character in the present and future workforce;
  • High performing, ethically strong, and safe workplaces because businesses place a priority focus on their culture of character, not just on performance alone;
  • Thriving communities secured by trust in law enforcement that will uphold the law with integrity to diminish crime and the tolerance for risk-taking behaviors;

Therefore … because we recognize the fundamental relationship between our Region’s potential and the character of its citizens, we see our Region as an extraordinary place because our leaders and citizens dare to understand this relationship and boldly act upon this vision. Our vision is to build stronger communities throughout the Western New York Region by building stronger character.