The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 14, 2013

Volunteering has many benefits

United Way


— There are many reasons why you should want to volunteer. Volunteering strengthens the community. It makes you feel good. It connects you to people.

According to the United Way websites and Internet sources provided by hundreds of individual state and national organizations, anyone can be a champion for change. Whether you are speaking out to improve education, poverty and health, you can help inspire hope and make southern West Virginia a better place to live.

The United Way serves a variety of purposes. In our community it seeks to help create lasting change through collaboration with other social service organizations, government agencies and community leaders.

United Way helps all kinds of people with all kinds of needs. We partner with 34 agencies, dozens of volunteers and thousands of donors who trust United Way to be responsible stewards to help the most people, right here at home.

At the same time, the United Way association is a catalyst for this change while partnering with education institutions, foundations, key funders and community leaders on a variety of common agendas, addressing the urgent needs facing our region.

Meanwhile, human resources from companies all across our region know that engaging employees and supporting volunteerism is an important part of corporate social responsibility efforts and this trend is growing.

According to a report published by the Points of Light Foundation in Washington, D.C., “research findings are steadily piling up in support of the concept that volunteer service supports skill development.”

The report also contends that the “strongest professional development potential from employees volunteering revolves around skill development, recruitment, morale and retention, and teamwork.”

Research shows that volunteering offers unique opportunities involving skill sets not always available within day-to-day work. For instance, volunteers might become engaged in event management volunteer opportunities when normally they perform data tasks on the job.

By volunteering, they get the opportunity to practice people skills and learn new ways to manage and organize.

 That is why the United Way needs your support as a volunteer. Volunteering is an excellent enrichment to your resume. Not only does volunteering say loud and clear that you are a go-getter and don’t like to waste time, it says you are committed to the community, making a contribution any way you can.

The United Way is a reminder that we are all connected, interdependent — that we are all one people. And when we think of others’ lives as connected to our own, our compassion grows.

For me, the United Way is one of the best ways to help the people of our community. It’s just the right thing to do. Together we can make a difference. To volunteer call 304-253-2111.

Notes of interest:

- The United Way of Southern West Virginia is fiscally solid and certified as nonprofit.  Therefore, your contribution is tax-deductible.

- We are accepting registration for the Fall 2013 Denim for a Difference Campaign. To date, more than 21 groups have registered and will allow their employees to wear jeans to work. Call 304-253-2111 or e-mail alester@unitedwayswv.org.

- Remember Fright Nights at Glade this Friday and Saturday night. Their success is our success as a portion of the proceeds is donated to the United Way.

— United Way of Southern West Virginia 2013-2014 Campaign Chair Frank Wood is publisher of Beckley Newspapers.