From the Archive: United Way Volunteer Spotlight | Mary Cummings

Mary Cummings helps bring staff, donors and agency speakers together through our Agency and Speakers Bureau

When Mary Cummings served as a Loaned Executive with United Way of the Mid-South in 2001-02, little did she know that she would become one of United Way’s volunteers with the deepest connections to donors and nonprofit agencies in our community.

“Milton Todd (United Way Fundraising Senior Director) contacted me after I retired from Bell South. I had over 30 years of BellSouth experience, and Milton said ‘I have the perfect job for you,'” Cummings recalled.

That job was helping coordinate the agency and speakers bureau at United Way. Since 2002, Cummings has coordinated speakers from nonprofit agencies who speak at United Way fundraising rallies at businesses and organizations across the Mid-South. Last year, that meant working with busy organizations and busy leaders’ schedules to arrange over 665 appointments so nonprofit volunteers and professionals could share how donations to United Way make a difference in people’s lives for our community’s common good.

“I’m amazed at the enthusiasm we see from United Way staff and volunteers every year. You would think it would die down, but it never does! The staff care for their accounts, whether they raise large amounts of money or average amounts, they know how valuable each gift is and they convey that to the Loaned Executives every year. The energy and enthusiasm come from the top down, and this United Way has a way of getting it through to our Loaned Executives and volunteers,” Cummings said.

This time of year, Cummings’ phone rings steadily throughout the day as staff, business leaders and nonprofit agencies are all working with each other to arrange speaking appointments to get United Way’s message out to the community.

“October can be a crazy month,” Cummings observed, “but when the message catches fire with people, they take it seriously.”

United Way thanks Mary Cummings and all our local volunteers who work to make the Mid-South an even better place to live.

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