Serving as a United Way Loaned Executive can be fun. But, it can also be challenging.
Thankfully, year in and year out, United Way of the Mid-South receives some of Memphis’ top employees from companies around the city. These volunteer employees are Loaned Executives and Sponsored Representatives.
Each year, these volunteers leave the “known” work they perform day in and day out to work on the front lines of raising resources and spreading awareness during the United Way fundraising drive.
“Simply put, without their help there is no way we could reach as many people and organizations as we do,” said Dave Skorupa, Vice President of Communications for United Way. “Our staff is only so large. Running effective fundraising and information campaigns takes time. The key role they play in making presentations, sharing materials, answering questions and spreading the word makes a tremendous difference.”
After working to raise resources to help United Way’s network impact people’s lives, Loaned Executives always have stories to tell about their experiences.
Some of these stories are shared with the whole United Way team during weekly countdown meetings held during September through late November. During these meetings, Loaned Executives are asked to tell their “tidbits” about the fundraising campaign. Sometimes the stories are focused on the process of conducting fundraising drives at local businesses, but it’s very common for the stories to focus on how people’s lives are changed thanks to your support of United Way.
Michael Steward, who works with FedEx, has served as a Loaned Executive for three years during the United Way drive.
“It’s just so rewarding to look in people’s eyes and know that you are helping them,” he said. “But it’s also rewarding to see all those generous hearts out there who know our community needs all the help it can get.”
Vickie Hamilton, a second year United Way Loaned Executive, said that her experience has been “humbling.”
“I just believe in what United Way does,” she said. “I see proof in all the wonderful agencies that are being funded and serving our critical needs in the community.”
“It’s just the right thing to do… to help our community,” said James Alexander, also a Loaned Executive (and a member of the world-famous R&B group, The Bar-Kays). “We work as a team. It’s that teamwork that makes a real difference for our community.”
Loaned Executives and Sponsored Representatives can stay connected to United Way even after their service to our community through membership in the Loaned Executives Alumni Association (if you are a former LE or SR, click here to visit the LEAA facebook page).
(Editor’s Note: Writer Paul Smothers served as a Loaned Executive in 2013)