United Way operates with over 75 volunteers annually to keep administrative expenses under the national average and 100% can be donated back into our local community programming helping our most vulnerable people in need. We are blessed to have volunteers like Theresa lending their time and their talent, read Theresa's story here:
I became involved with the United Way about 10 years ago through my employer, Wegmans. They asked me to help the UWAY store team to raise money, and awareness for our local United Way.
First thing I learned was that there is a locally driven United Way – The United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, and that 100% of the funds raised stays here locally to help our community people in need. That first year I learned so much about the programming and some of the organizations that receive funding from our efforts.
We coordinated and attended what is called an Impact Tour. What is involved in this is that some of our employees and department heads were able to gather and join in while visiting a handful of United Way funded agencies at their location, listen to the program directors speak on behalf of the importance of being a UWAYSCC funded agency and appreciate the donations that we all generate for the annual campaign, and you see attendees of these programs with whom may even be recipients of such provided services through UWAY funding. It was an eye-opening experience for me, I was happy to see how my money was working directly in our small community.
The following year I lead the campaign with a coworker. We did community fundraising off-site and at the Wegmans store. We conducted a call to action that had every employee participating in some form. We set up speakers to come to the store from different agencies to talk to our employees. Employees were happy to give knowing where their money was going, and how it was being used locally. Our store campaigns continue to grow each year and the continued participation is humbling.
These experiences have led me to expand my volunteerism more on a personal level with my own time - I started volunteering on the UWAYSCC Campaign Business Team, and now currently the chair for the Tourism and Hospitality Team. This has provided a lot more clarity how United Way of Southern Chautauqua County connects and collaborates with many different people, all walks of life, generating enough money to reach the annual goal. So much work is being done, yet there is so many of us that it does not seem like a lot of work. I guess you can say that is where the term ‘many hands make light work’ comes to play. I am very passionate about the work that is continued to be done at United Way, and plan to continue to do more when I retire.
UWAYSCC 100 Years, 100 Stories blog submission by Theresa Meger, Wegman’s Home and Entertaining Manager. For more about Wegmans, visit Wegmans.com. For more information about volunteering with United Way of Southern Chautauqua County email Lindsey Rensel at firstname.lastname@example.org.