Happy National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week, which is a good time to dispel some common misconceptions about volunteering. Here are a few:

It is tough to find time to volunteer. If you have a lunch hour, you have time to volunteer. Head to a nearby school to read with children, or tutor a struggling student in math. If that’s too time-consuming, just walk down the hall at work. Your local United Way can organize on-site volunteering to build kits – such as school supply backpacks, and hygiene or literacy kits – to distribute to elementary schools, shelters and families who may not have many books at home.

Volunteering will add stress to my life. Actually, working with or for others, staying active and expanding your worldview adds up to a healthier lifestyle. There is a significant correlation between volunteering and good health.

Volunteering is dirty work that no one else will do. Sure, sometimes people paint school walls and plant gardens, but they also help make critical decisions as board members or grant reviewers. Professionals, like engineers and scientists, can put their skills to use through programs like STEM in the Schoolyard, a fun and rewarding way to help close the STEM gap for students.

You have to be present to make a difference. Virtual volunteering – like online tutoring programs – connects people to organizations and their beneficiaries. Using our own online platform, United Way Worldwide has helped companies give their employees the ability to write a note of encouragement to students, veterans or other groups who need support.

Volunteering takes time away from family. When you bring the kids along to volunteer, you strengthen family bonds, instill empathy and create wonderful memories. This past fall at United Way of Buffalo & Erie County families came together to pack 40,000 nonperishable meals for people in need.

Problems are so big; I can’t make much of a difference. This week, United Way of Miami-Dade is offering a range of activities in which volunteers will see the differences they’ve made. Volunteers will create a lending library at an early childhood development center, engage adults with dementia in socialization and music activities, and build a sensory garden for people with disabilities.

Volunteering is thankless work. National Volunteer Week is our time to thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, brains and brawn to causes they care about in their community and around the world. THANK YOU for stepping up – in person, online, with coworkers and your family. Thank you for showing what it means to LIVE UNITED.

Press Release: John Whitaker Honored with Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — April 5, 2019 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: John Whitaker, was bestowed with United Way of Forsyth County’s (UWFC) Tocqueville Society’s Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award, The Tocqueville Leadership Society’s highest honor, at a special recognition event April 4, 2019.

The Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society is presented annually to an outstanding Forsyth County volunteer who has demonstrated untiring commitment, visionary leadership, resourcefulness and creativity in meeting the needs of the community.

John Whitaker is a highly experienced entrepreneur from Winston-Salem, NC and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina as well as his MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He served three years in the United States Navy as an officer in the Supply Corps. John’s career has involved start-up and development of new companies, primarily in service-related businesses. He was the founder of Inmar Enterprises, Inc., a company with over 4,000 employees which provides promotional management and return goods processing to over 1,000 customers which was later sold to a private equity group in 2007. John’s rich business background also includes real estate development and construction.

He is actively involved in several civic and business activities within the local community including Chief Executive Officer of INV located in Winton-Salem, NC. INV provides venture capital and management expertise to start-ups and early stage operations. John currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Winston-Salem Alliance – a strategic planning organization for Winston-Salem as well as the Board of Visitors, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Previous outside activities have also included serving on the Board of Directors of Wachovia Corporation; Board of Trustees of Wake Forest University; Board of Directors of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; Board of Visitors of Babcock Graduate School of Management, Wake Forest University; and Board of Directors of Amos Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital (past president).

In addition to his support of the United Way of Forsyth County, John has donated time and energy to fund raising for various other organizations: Chairman of the $200 Million capital campaign for the Medical Center; the National Development Council, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the UNC Alumni Association; the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce; Division Chairman for the Heritage and Promise Campaign of Wake Forest University; Campaign Steering Committee of The Children’s Center for the Physically Handicapped.

Local Benefactor Paul Fulton was instrumental in establishing the UWFC’s Tocqueville Leadership Society in 1987.  The award was renamed in 1997 to recognize his extraordinary volunteerism.  Fulton is a former chief executive of Sara Lee and Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. and former Dean at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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United Way of Forsyth County brings the community and its resources together to solve problems that no one organization can address alone.

 

When You Invest in Your Community, You Invest in Yourself

“Givers gain.”

That phrase was racing through my mind as I put on my “Live United” t-shirt, scanned the conference room and listened to the Rappahannock United Way staff explain the logistics of the sort-a-thon. I was surrounded by Fredericksburg, Virginia, residents, all of whom were eager to sort children’s books, divvy up school supplies and create “kits” to help kids prepare for the school year ahead.

Once a month, United Way Worldwide employees can spend a day volunteering. It’s an opportunity for us to extend our support beyond helping the network from afar—to join the “boots on the ground.” I chose to lace my boots and contribute to my local United Way’s school readiness efforts. Rappahannock United Way is doing great work in the education space. When I heard about their sort-a-thon, I decided to contribute. I expected to give my time, and what I got was far more valuable.

The conference room was a bibliophile’s dream. There must have been a hundred books on tabletops, with volunteers organizing each. Nick, a Marine from nearby Marine Corps Base Quantico, drove 30 minutes to participate, and he was enjoying every second of it.

“I heard about the event from a volunteer coordinator on base,” said Nick. “I’m big into reading, and I like to support anything that has to do with youth and literature.”

Once the books were sorted and labeled, they were handed over to a crew of kit creators. Bags were filled with miscellaneous school items—from markers to notebooks—and given one book each before being set aside. It was a well-oiled assembly line of goodwill. I manned the supplies line, doling out cardboard paper for future coloring. To my right, a woman was talking about inspiring her sons to volunteer. Another woman, Geetha, commented on early learning.

“The beginning part of a child’s education is the most important,” said Geetha, a former nutritionist for Head Start. “Each month they don’t get the right education, they’re set back two months.”

All in all, the sort-a-thon was a hit, with dozens of people coming together to create hundreds of kits and set underprivileged children up for success. Personally, I was given a valuable reminder: Anything is possible when you combine your heart with hard work. Volunteering doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be arduous, and you don’t need to be an expert. You just need to act.

One decision, one hour, one moment—you’ll get back tenfold what you give.

Press Release: 2018 Keith Vaughan, Peggy Taylor and the late John Taylor and Mitch Neuhauser Receive United Way of Forsyth County’s Highest Honors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — April 17, 2018 Keith Vaughan, Peggy Taylor and the late John Taylor and Mitch Neuhauser Receive United Way of Forsyth County’s Highest Honors

On April 12, 2018, The United Way of Forsyth County recognized key philanthropic leaders in the community at its annual Tocqueville Leadership event.

Keith Vaughan was honored with the Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award.

The Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award was established in 1987 and is presented annually by the Society to an outstanding volunteer who has demonstrated untiring commitment, visionary leadership, resourcefulness and creativity in meeting the needs of our community.

Keith Vaughan is the Chair Emeritus of Womble Bond Dickinson, having served as the firm’s Chairman and Managing Partner from 2002 through 2015. He retired from the firm in January concluding almost 43 years in the practice of law – all at Womble Bond Dickinson.

Mitch Neuhauser, Chair of the Tocqueville Leadership Society, was named Volunteer of the Year. Neuhauser serves as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at RAI Services Company.

Peggy Taylor and the legacy of her late husband John were honored with induction into the Million Dollar Roundtable

Peggy is an accomplished local artist and John was a Chapel Hill alum, an Army veteran, and a successful businessman.

John and Peggy started their own foundation in 2010. Throughout their life together, they were active members at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, supported UNC athletics and academics, and were instrumental in building and operating the Vision Tennis Center (now Taylor Tennis Center) in Clemmons, one of the first indoor tennis facilities in the area.

Through their support of United Way of Forsyth County, they impacted countless lives in our community. John’s giving spirit lives on today through his family and his legacy of quiet generosity.

The Million Dollar Roundtable is UWFC’s highest level of philanthropic giving and its members have invested a million dollars or more in the work of UWFC over the course of ten years or less. This critically important group of donors allows the work of UWFC to deepen and become more impactful through their generous investments. This award is recognized nationally by the United Way World Wide and locally by United Way of Forsyth County.

To date, United Way of Forsyth County has recognized four individuals or families.

PAST RECIPIENTS

2014 John and Mary Louise Burress

2015 Andy and Margery Brown

2016 Kelly and Eva Ann King

2017 John (late) and Peggy Taylor

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Tocqueville Society Dinner Announced

We are excited to announce our annual Tocqueville Society invitation only dinner is just around the corner on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

We will celebrate philanthropic leaders across our community and showcase the spirit of neighbors helping neighbors!

Origins of the Tocqueville Society

Only 26 years old when he came to the United States and Canada in 1831, Alexis Charles-Henri de Tocqueville traveled extensively, recording his observations of life in the young nations.

Though he only spent nine months in North America, he gleaned many profound insights about American society. His observations, readings and discussions with eminent Americans formed the basis of Democracy in America, a detailed study of American society and politics published in two volumes, in 1835 and 1840.

Tocqueville recognized, applauded and immortalized North American voluntary action on behalf of the common good. He wrote: “I must say that I have seen Americans make a great deal of real sacrifices to the public welfare; and have noticed a hundred instances in which they hardly ever failed to lend a faithful support to one another,” eloquently capturing the essence of personal philanthropy that persists almost three centuries later.

The observations on philanthropy made by Alexis de Tocqueville in 1831 are true today; North Americans understand that advancing the common good means creating opportunities for a better life for all. The name Tocqueville Society was chosen because of Alexis de Tocqueville’s admiration for the spirit of voluntary association and effort toward its advancement.

Membership Benefits

Specific local Tocqueville Society benefits differ by location; however, all Tocqueville Society members benefit from:

  • Joining a national network of philanthropic leaders who are engaged locally to create long-lasting, positive changes
  • Partnering with a quality organization and dedicated staff; ensuring that gifts, voice, and time are efficiently invested in local communities to maximize impact
  • The unique position of United Way as one of the world’s premier philanthropic organizations which can be used to convene community business and civic leaders focused on the building blocks of a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job; income that can support a family through retirement; and good health.
  • Local Tocqueville Society leaders along with National Society and Million Dollar Roundtable members are invited to attend national and worldwide gatherings of Tocqueville and Million Dollar Roundtable Members.

Contact Cathy Coles at Cathy.Coles@uwforsyth.org or call 336.721.9370 to learn how you can become involved in the United Way Tocqueville Society and/or to inquire about membership benefits.

Press Release: Sallye Liner and Kelly King Receive United Way of Forsyth County’s Highest Honors

WINSTON-SALEM, NC —  Sallye Liner, former president of Forsyth Medical Center and Kelly King, BB&T chairman and CEO were recently bestowed with the United Way of Forsyth County’s (UWFC) highest honors at a special recognition event.

King was inducted into UWFC’s Million Dollar Roundtable and Liner was honored with the Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society award at the Tocqueville and Legacy Society recognition dinner and event held in Winston-Salem’s Millennium Center .

Liner has been a generous donor of time and resources to UWFC and a member of the Tocqueville Society since it’s establishment . She’s been a member of the UWFC board since 2007, a founding member of the UWFC’s Women’s Leadership Council in 2007 and served as campaign chair in 2011, leading the community in raising $17.3M. In addition, Liner was UWFC board chair 2014 – 2015.  She is currently chair of the Place Matters Committee, UWFC’s neighborhood centered initiative and is a member of the United Way Foundation Board.

King, is a major supporter and UWFC donor at the highest level.

The Million Dollar Roundtable is UWFC’s highest level of philanthropic giving and its members have invested a million dollars or more in the work of UWFC over the course of ten years or less. This critically important group of donors allows the work of UWFC to deepen and become more impactful through their generous investments.

There are only 550 members of the Million Dollar Roundtable in the United States.

UWFC has two Million Dollar Rountable members.  John Burress, a trustee at Kate. B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and retired President of JW Burress, Inc., which serves the Mid-Atlantic states as distributors of construction machinery.  King joins Burress and other generous philanthropists across the U.S. that are truly committed to United Way and its mission of bringing communities together to solve problems.

The Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society is presented annually to an outstanding Forsyth County volunteer who has demonstrated untiring commitment, visionary leadership, resourcefulness and creativity in meeting the needs of the community.

Local Benefactor Paul Fulton was instrumental in establishing the UWFC’s Tocqueville Leadership Society in 1987.  The award was renamed in 1997 to recognize his extraordinary volunteerism.  Fulton is a former chief executive of Sara Lee and Bassett Furniture Industries Inc. and former Dean at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill.