LIVE UNITED Stories
LIVE UNITED Video: Matt and May Gunsul
LIVE UNITED Stories
Looking back, I wouldn't have ever thought I'd be where I am today. There was a time in my life when I made some bad choices. I know what it is to be hungry, I know what it is to be away from my family. I've had hard times. But just when things were the worst they could be, I had people in my life that never gave up on me. Today, I'm a team lead at ESCO and I feel very fortunate to have a job, especially a job I love, and enough money to take care of my family. I can afford to donate to United Way and I encourage my coworkers to give to United Way too. There are so many people who've helped me, I really want to pay them back and the best way is paying it forward and helping others. That's why I LIVE UNITED.
As a business person, I understand the importance of a healthy, sustainable community. That's why NW Natural partners with United Way on the Gas Assistance Program and why I personally invest my time and resources in United Way. To LIVE UNTIED means to recognize that the quality of life we all want requires that we all have the opportunity to succeed. My name is Gregg Kantor, and I'm honored to chair the 2011 United Way community giving campaign because it's one way I can make a lasting difference in the community that I love. Helping create opportunities for all by supporting United Way: that's how I LIVE UNITED.
By the age of 14 I had joined a gang and was looking for trouble. I thought I found it one night through an open door. Instead I found myself in a boxing gym. Afraid my motives would be discovered, I started to use a punching bag. The gym’s coach asked me if I would like to learn to box and I was too afraid to say no. This United Way funded mentor project changed my life. I eventually left the gang, focused on boxing and school and received three scholarships to college. United Way changed my life; now it’s my turn to give back. I served on the United Way Board, donate and volunteer in my community. That’s how I LIVE UNITED.
Our community is only as strong as our weakest link. For the last few years, I've mentored a young man whose family faces a lot of challenges. He's a great kid, but his family has gone through one difficult thing after another. In our community, there are many families dealing with very unfortunate circumstances. I give and volunteer with United Way because I recognize how United Way works to alleviate poverty and make our community a better place to live...and that's good for everybody. Advocating for community needs through supporting United Way: that's how I LIVE UNITED.
Midlife has often been a time to reflect on one’s purpose and life’s meaning: it is a great opportunity to explore one’s deeper personal values. Boomers have an incredible gift; a whole new age of life that has been unprecedented in human history, an age where they will have incredible choices, flexibility and opportunities. Many choose to make a meaningful contribution to community through 'returnment,' the act of giving back or returning in some small way what the world has given you. Just imagine if only a portion of the 3 million people retiring each year were to pursue a life of “returnment.” What problems could be addressed? How many children’s lives would be different? What new kind of energy would be created? What level of hope? I’m Jay Bloom, and I’m committed to inspiring and challenging Boomers to increase community service, volunteerism and engagement. That’s how I LIVE UNITED.
In my senior year at Forest Grove High School, I was involved in a wonderful learning opportunity through a marketing class. The class allowed us to look at the whole community of social service agencies in Washington County to learn about projects intended for people who need the most help. As we were doing our research, our task was to pick a couple of nonprofits to help out, by volunteering our time. We chose an agency that helps homeless families. For several weekends, my friends and I helped paint and fix up their facility. It was hard work, but very rewarding. I think it's really important to help out where you live. My name is Kathy Galvan, and I'm proud to LIVE UNITED.
Marta and I applaud and support local organizations that help young people achieve their full potential. We believe that children and youth in our community deserve access to educational and enrichment opportunities: early childhood education, after-school projects, and tools for parent and caregiver involvement. That is why projects that promote education and ensure the success of all children receive our charitable support and volunteer hours. Through our volunteer and philanthropy work, we're enabling young people to reach their goals, and that's how we LIVE UNITED.
Ken and Marta Thrasher were United Way's 2008 Robert G. Miller Achievement Award winners. The award recognizes lifetime achievement in leadership, philanthropy and community service.
Philanthropy is one of those things that is uniquely American. It's in our DNA. No other country is as involved in volunteerism and philanthropy as the United States. Giving back defines us as a culture. I'm a firm believer in working together to make our community better in all aspects. Everybody in our community must have the opportunity to excel. If people have better education and better health, they will have better economic opportunities. I'm James Rudd, and I LIVE UNITED by volunteering and giving to United Way.
People with disabilities are generally not treated the same in our society. There's a stereotype that people with disabilities are not capable of doing all the 'regular' things the rest of us do. I believe that if you give people the opportunity, they can accomplish many things. I am an advocate for organizations that work alongside families and people with disabilities to ensure they have meaningful lives and access to needed services and supports. It's rewarding to see people defy common expectations and achieve things no one ever imagined they could do. I'm Charlotte Duncan, and it is my passion to enable people of all abilities to lead productive and stable lives in our community. That's how I LIVE UNITED.