Last week, I volunteered my time at Women’s Empowerment by
leading a course on relationship building in the workplace for
the new “Get a Job Kit” training program. I have to be honest,
initially I said, ‘you want me to lead what?’ But I did my
research, put together my presentation and went for it. I have to
tell you, it was one of the most proud moments of my life when
the women I spoke to related to my material, asked the best
questions and thanked me for the valuable information. I
volunteered my time and made a difference. If just one of the
women in the course uses any of the skills I offered to help with
a new career, I’m simply humbled and honored.
All of us have skills to offer whether we realize it or not. It
may not being leading a course, but you might be excellent with a
hammer or paint roller, maybe you excel at turning a messy closet
into an organized and useful space. Maybe you are a gardener and
want to help with community garden builds? The point is, you can
offer something. Multiple studies show Sacramento has a much
lower volunteer rate than other comparable cities across the
county, so the time is now to get involved and change these
numbers. But how do you get connected to the right opportunity
for you? Well, I am proud to introduce your new solution for
that: the United Way Volunteer
April 14, 2014Kristina RicciProgram Officer, United Way Fit Kids
We all need physical activity to be a part of our daily routines
to enjoy the health benefits of exercise. With over one-third of
children and adolescents being overweight or obese, this couldn’t
be more true for America’s youth today. The epidemic of childhood
obesity is one of the major health challenges that United Way is
committed to facing and improving to advance the common good.
Initiatives like United Way Fit Kids are
giving children in our region the knowledge, tools, and
inspiration that they need to live healthier lives. Being healthy
is not just about eating a nutritious diet. Exercise is essential
for fighting obesity and improving overall well-being.
Here are my top 5 reasons why kids (and adults too) should get
1. Improves Confidence
Exercise builds self-confidence. Kids who are physically
fit feel good about their body image. They are more confident
when it is time for gym class or sports tryouts. Encouraging
children to play outside and join local teams is a great way to
help them stay in shape and feel good about themselves.
With a big push from United Way and other important community
partners to get the word out about the www.keepyourtaxrefund.com
website, I found myself telling folks in our community about this
awesome resource and received some questions I couldn’t answer.
I’m the kind of guy who wants to fully get behind something I’m
asking others to do, so naturally my solution was to use the
website myself to complete my 2013 tax return. In the past I’ve
used other online software and with this website being FREE to
those with income under $58,000 in 2013 and reduced cost compared
to other ways to file for those who make over $58,000, how could
I still have one child in college and another that wants to
return. My ability to help them pay for that is extremely
Are you also worrying about paying for college for your children,
grandchildren or other youth you know? Or, do you work with
youth at church, soccer and other activities who will need
financial help for college? Or are you or another adult
considering going back to college? Well, this is the perfect
opportunity to learn about Federal Student Aid for college and
how you can become a resource for the young people in your life
(and stop that worrying!).
With the cost of a higher education constantly on the rise,
access to resources for college tuition, books and other expenses
is important. The United States Department of Education’ s Office
of Federal Student Aid (FSA) will be in Sacramento to talk about
FSA and to do a comprehensive financial aid training. This
training is targeting everyday people who work with youth or have
youth in their life who want to go to college. The
event is freeand will be held at Sacramento
State Alumni Center January 7th from 10 a.m. to 3:30
The community where your business is located is most likely also
the neighborhood where you and your employees live, meaning that
when you support the nonprofit organizations in the community,
you are also giving back to your neighbors. Corporate
philanthropy most frequently comes in the form of office giving
campaigns. These campaigns can be pledge drives for fundraising
or collecting donations of goods for a local nonprofit.
Volunteering your time for a community service project or to
advocate for those who are less fortunate is another way to
engage with those in your area.
No matter how it is presented or which options management
chooses, any type of corporate philanthropy program helps your
bottom line. According to several studies of consumer practices,
a company who is dedicated to serving nonprofits in its community
reaps many benefits. In fact, the company receives as many
benefits from its philanthropy as the people who live in the area
do. Partnering with a charity can help to raise brand awareness
for your company, making it a strategic business move as well as
a philanthropic investment.
Back in January when we announced we would try to accomplish 90
volunteers projects in one year to celebrate United Way
California Capital Region’s 90th Anniversary, I received some
funny looks and eye rolls. I’m fairly certain many people didn’t
think it could be done. Well guess what? I am ecstatically proud
to tell you that September 11, 2013 marked Project Number 89,
which means that the United Way Day of Caring’s 26 projects on
Friday, September 13th will bring life to Project Numbers 90-115!
That’s right, not only did we as a community collectively work
towards meeting our goal of 90 projects, but so far we’ve gone
over the goal by 25 (and we still have two and a half months left
of 2013!). If you haven’t been involved yet, now’s your chance!
Let’s do the math (not including the 26 Day of Caring
+over 1,500 volunteers
+over 5,000 volunteer hours
+Over $60,000 value of volunteer labor
I was honored when United Way asked me to share my experience
with my esteemed colleagues at the first United Way Nonprofit
Leadership Summit last month. After all, United Way has more than
140 certified nonprofit partners, all of whom would be worthy to
stand up at the microphone and share the amazing work they are
I was especially excited to share how much United Way has helped
open doors for Women’s Empowerment, and
I know so many other nonprofits feel the same way. From giving us
the chance to stand up in front of workplaces and keep our name
front and center, to providing much needed funding to start our
financial literacy program for graduates, we are grateful for
United Way’s ability to bring people together around common
causes. And we know United Way has been an instrumental partner
in helping 1,064 women break the cycle of homelessness for their
Everybody has something to contribute to the common good, whether
it is a new idea on how to approach an issue or a strong arm in a
construction project. We often sit around wondering how to
encourage others to get involved in the causes we hold dear, and
it can be discouraging to see people turn their back on a
community that needs them.
Here are some ideas on how to help others realize what they have
to offer and how best to contribute.
Press releases: One important aspect of getting others
to participate is to let them know what is going on. A press
release is a good way to lay out the important details and
background information; plus, you can use the space to relate
your project to everyday life and current affairs. There’s no
guarantee that the press will pick up your story, but if you
don’t inform them of what’s going on, they definitely won’t
feature you. A good press release should be no longer than a
page and should include at least one quote from an organizer.
March 25, 2013Lorrie Wilson, Women in Philanthropy Co-Chair
Bimla Rhinehart was first and foremost my friend and most
recently a fellow member of Women in Philanthropy
(WIP). Although new to WIP, she made a big impact and
wanted very much to make a positive difference in the lives of
our foster youth. Bimla and I taught a communications
workshop in December at Koinonia. She was a wonderful role
model for them. After we finished the workshop, she
remarked at their exceptional manners, enthusiasm and active
Bimla was the brains and inspiration behind our
Day at the Capitol event where influential, successful women
leaders in state government spent the afternoon with some of our
foster females mentoring them and providing them with ideas,
information and most of all the desire to pursue their dream
Wait, 90 projects? In one year? You must be
As the volunteer services manager, when I brought up the idea of
accomplishing 90 volunteer projects for the
90th anniversary of United Way California Capital Region,
everybody loved the idea but also thought I was little bit crazy
for trying to take on such a huge task. But you know what? WE can
do this. What better reason for individuals in our communities
who together make up so many companies, unions and groups to make
such a difference in one year? A difference not only for so many
of our nonprofit partners as a whole but also for the thousands
of people they serve each year. I am confident in YOU, our
We were a team of 9 there to learn about the organization and to
do some painting, for their new multipurpose meditation and
We got there around 1 p.m., all decked out in our Wells Fargo
Volunteer shirts – ready to work. But first, we took a quick tour
of the facilities and learned about the work done there. We went
in to a meeting where several participants were working on a
video project, and they took some time to tell us about what all
they specialize in and do. From there, we hit the art studio –
and saw some great paintings and art pieces that many of the
program participants had created. Off to the quad to meet some of
the people that will be able to use the room once it is
completed, and receive a little thank you from them. Some meet
and greet and picture time and then off to the task at hand.
In my role at United Way, I have the benefits of experiencing the
unifying power of our community when it dares to dream, embraces
its hope and has the steadfast will it needs to be something
more. There’s nothing more satisfying than having a front
row seat to witness the hard work and passion behind every
program, funded or not, that strives to level the playing field
for so many in our region. Even in these arduous financial
times, our region embraces assets above deficits and team work as
desirable, not just a “necessary evil”. From the counties of
Amador to El Dorado, Placer to Sacramento and Yolo, folks are
putting their stakes in the ground around education, income and
health. And, it’s showing a significant community impact.
What is community impact? It is something that makes a lasting
impression on the region and its people. Community impact is
not short-lived, temporary or arbitrary; it does not create false
hope. It alters its course as needed for the best possible
outcome. Community impact is not quick or easy. It takes
dedication, strategy and alignment, cooperation and trust. It
takes all of us. It takes you.
What does volunteering mean to you? Sure,
volunteering makes you feel good. When you volunteer you are
reaching out to your community with your own two hands and making
a tangible difference.United Way California Capital Region and
the148 local certified nonprofit organizations we partner with
rely on volunteers to help achieve the big goals of our
community.We certainly can’t do it alone.We need the heads, hands
and hearts of committed people like you to help us tackle the
problems facing our communities.
That’s where you come in. And I sincerely mean
you…the person reading this. Yes, you.
September 7, 2012Tom Burns, CSECC Campaign Liaison
We all like to think that we are safe and secure, but one
incident or accident can surprise and shock us.
In 1980, my father had a massive stroke, and my mother was
instantly transformed into a 24-hour caregiver for a person who
had severe speech and mobility issues. My parents lived in
Illinois, and I was in Sacramento and felt helpless.
My mother was getting very depressed and was beginning develop
back injuries. Then the local United Way stepped in and let my
mother know about a senior daycare program that the local United
Way had developed.
How do you measure the value of our local government workers?
As we continue to feel the pain of this deep recession and see
many of our local employers either close up shop or leave town
all together, it is important to recognize the importance of
government employees and the crucial role that they play in our
The fact is, government is the #1 industry in the greater
Sacramento region and while its employees provide crucial public
services, their significance goes well beyond that. Whether
employed by the US government, state, a county, a city, or a
special district, these public servants infuse an incredible
amount of money into our local economy, which has an obvious
benefit to our local businesses and the community as a whole. The
purchasing power of our local government workers is huge indeed,
but their hearts may be even bigger.
In fact, while suffering budget cutbacks, furloughs, and intense
public scrutiny, the philanthropic nature of public sector
workers has remained strong.
Yes, it’s true. It wasn’t that hard to convince me to participate
a second time because of the amount of fun I had in last year’s
inaugural event. Some may even say it was too easy, considering
the blisters and bruises that followed. True, walking a mile in
high heels and this year on a more visible course with a larger
number of spectators isn’t my typical way to spend a Saturday.
But after walking with an incredible group of guys last year who
were all there to support WEAVE, how could I resist?
In my opinion, WEAVE is a extremely worthy cause. The
organization provides crisis intervention services to women, men
and children in Sacramento County who have experienced domestic
violence or have been sexually assaulted. It is WEAVE’s mission
to bring an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in
partnership with our community. I’ve seen first hand the efforts
of WEAVE and the dedicated staff who work incredibly hard to make
I wish I had unlimited resources to give to those who need help.
Just think of what I could do if only I would win the lottery!
The reality is…I live on a budget. I have a mortgage and bills to
pay and limited funds left over to give away. But, I do
give—every paycheck—and my United Way donation is matched
dollar-for-dollar by the Intel Foundation, with the matching
amount allocated to local United Way Community Funds.
And because I work for Intel, I have the opportunity to also
donate my time, my talent and my passion to volunteer in my
community. Intel challenges me to utilize my professional skills
to benefit community organizations. Over the past year, I’ve
leveraged my communications, marketing and art expertise to help
the teens at Koinonia. One
project in particular is near and dear to my heart—The SHE&Me
My name is Emily, and I am a member of the Board of Directors for
the Kiwanis Family House. You might be surprised to know that I
am just 20 years old, enrolled in California State University at
Sacramento, and a member of Circle K International at Sacramento
State , the collegiate division of Kiwanis International.
When I first learned about the Kiwanis Family House, I knew right
away that it was a project I could passionately support.
From my experiences as both a child and an adult patient, I
knew firsthand what it was like to be in the hospital and that
regardless of age, it is never easy to be on your own during a
In my short life, I have been hospitalized a total of five times,
being admitted most recently in August of 2011.
It’s hard to believe that United Way’s Women in
Philanthropy program is celebrating its 10th year.
Back in 2001, United Ways across the country were starting local
women’s groups, and three volunteers – Char Donnermeyer, Carol
Wolfe and Donna Chipps – led the effort in forming our group who
decided to focus on helping local foster youth . I started at
United Way in February 2001 and had the pleasure of working
directly with the Women in Philanthropy program since its
inception. It’s definitely been a favorite part of my job.
How do you follow a legend? Just like he would want you to…
jump in with both feet! Earlier this year, the Sacramento
community lost a dear friend and community leader Tom Lawson to a
courageous battle with cancer. As his good friend, I thought of
no better way to honor my friend, than to attempt to continue
with his great work. As Tom’s co-worker at the Sacramento Central
Labor Council, I had assisted Tom with various labor related
projects, but I really had no idea of the enormity of the scope
of Tom’s work in the Sacramento Region, promoting United Way
campaign within the Labor Community, while assisting Working
Families and linking them with the services of the United Way
California Capital Region’s community partners.
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e-mail address) is used internally and maintained with
appropriate measures of security. We absolutely respect your
right to privacy when using our Web site. Unless you give us
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never sell lists of donors to others.