I am a native of Charlottesville, and until I joined the board of our United Way, I did not realize how sheltered I was from the reality of life for so many who live in our area. The more I learn about our community, the more I’m struck by the realization of how many people don’t have the things I take for granted ― even something as simple as having a parent who is able to help you with your homework, or having a car to get you to and from your work.
My children are still small, but I’m hoping that soon we can use the United Way Volunteer Center to help us find volunteer opportunities we can do as a family. I think it is important for them to understand and appreciate what they have and learn that it is important for us to help others who may not be as fortunate. I am a firm believer that you get what you give. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and feel we don’t have time to give back, but what I’ve found is that the reward you get is so much greater than what you gave up.
I was recently speaking with a customer about my being on the board of our United Way. What I told her was that when I give, I want to be sure that my money will go to an organization I can trust. My husband and I like the fact that the United Way has already done the due diligence for us and also the fact that they leverage their donations through partnerships with other local organizations. The more I learn about our community’s needs, the more I realize the impact I can have by working through our United Way.
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