Laveta Moles is determined to pay it forward. 

“I needed help and wanted a better life and I got it. I want to see other people get that too.”

The longtime United Way supporter and 20-year veteran team member at Far West Recycling is a tough cookie. It’s her job to sort discarded recyclable items by hand as they come toward her on a speeding conveyor belt, which she then tosses into the appropriate bins at lightning speed. It’s an impressive feat of concentration and physical endurance.

What’s more, you won’t hear Laveta complain about it. She’s grateful for her job, her coworkers, and for the kindness that she’s been shown by others, which she credits for helping her through hard times.

“Everyone deserves support. Support can get you through anything.”

Laveta radiates the generosity she was shown in her earlier years back into the world.

“Every time I fill out my pledge form, what goes through my head is probably the same thing the folks at United Way think, ‘How many people can I affect?’ I want to affect everybody.”

Laveta said that the team at Far West Recycling, a United Way Cornerstone Partner, has been like family to her over the last two decades, and that giving back has always been an important part of the culture there. She is thankful that Far West management not only encourages employees to give, but walks the walk.

Proof point: Far West Recycling has held a golf tournament each year for the last 20 years to benefit United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.

“They are always giving, it’s in their nature” she said. “That makes it so natural for the rest of us.”

Laveta shatters the notion that a person needs to be wealthy in order to make a substantial philanthropic impact in their community. Giving a small amount each paycheck adds up, and over the course of 20 years has provided substantial support to hundreds of children and families who are helped as a result of United Way’s community impact grants.

Laveta is fueled by her desire to make the world around her a better place, whether it be by donating her time, money, or even words of encouragement to strangers.

“I love helping people. I’m always looking. Always.”

“I love helping people. I’m always looking. Always.”

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