Their View: United Way’s strength grows through giving

Back in 1983 when I was fresh out of Penn State and the “new boy” in the Centre Daily Times advertising department, my mentor at the time told me I had to attend a meeting in the conference room.

She said, “You’re not in Philly anymore, so support Centre County by contributing to the United Way.”

I hadn’t even realized I was in Centre County at that point, but I attended the meeting.

A well-dressed gentleman introduced himself as a “Loaned Executive” for the local United Way and proceeded to speak about all of the services United Way Agencies offered.

I was amazed that so many folks provided help for those in desperate need. Blood drives, hospice care, Big Brothers Big Sisters, emergency food and shelter services were all provided by nonprofit organizations that needed my help to continue their incredible service to other Centre Countians.

I was hooked.

Since that time, I have donated my time and money to the United Way. I believe in the organization so strongly that I not only donate through my paycheck, but also by volunteering for some of the many facets of the United Way process.

I have been involved with the funds distribution process for years and, this year, I am co-chairing the Ambassador Division with my friend Greg Dreibelbis.

And my mentor from my CDT days, Ashear Barr, is now the donor relations coordinator for our United Way office here in State College.

My family and I have been blessed enough to not need the services of our local United Way agencies, but others are not so lucky. A severe illness, a bad accident or a loss of employment could cause an immediate need for help. The United Way agencies are here for those in need.

Centre County becomes stronger as a whole when we graciously help those in dire situations.

Please donate time and money to the United Way to help keep Centre County strong.