Volunteer Spotlight: Tonya Wright

Over the past year, many people have asked me what it’s like to chair United Way of Greater Stark County’s annual fund-raising campaign. They are interested in why I got involved and wonder what I do. Honestly, I say….

I get to wake up every day and work alongside the most passionate and hardworking people I know, the people at United Way. These individuals truly believe in their mission to improve the lives of those in our community and work tirelessly to fill the gaps in the lives of others.

I get to begin my day with a purpose; a purpose to contribute to moving our community forward. I start each morning working – working to ensure that we have funding for United Way’s 211 emergency assistance, so no child goes to bed hungry that night.

I get motivated, and excited, about our efforts in United Way’s Financial Stability Program, so that every person, every family, gets a second chance. A second chance to buy their first car or own their first home. A second chance to be financially independent.

I get to BE THE REASON that a working mother finds reliable transportation to her job. I get to BE THE REASON that a child finds assistance to overcome a learning disorder and succeeds at school. I get to BE THE REASON that someone gets the addiction support they need.

And YOU, yes you, can BE THE REASON too. Believe me, it’s a powerful feeling.

Mostly, I get inspired. Inspired by the generosity of strangers. Inspired by the support of our community leaders and the businesses who participate in Workplace Campaigns. Inspired by people just like you, who give to United Way, who make a difference in our neighborhoods, our schools, and in the lives of so many families.

I ask you to join me this year and BE THE REASON we make Stark County stronger. We need you.

I know this is the time of year we all receive requests from many organizations. As you consider your year-end giving, I would like you to understand how and where your donation makes a difference in our community.

At United Way of Greater Stark County, we call our donations, GIFTS. And after this past year, I now know why. Every dollar donated is a gift to someone. This gift says “We believe in you. We know you can overcome and succeed. We know you need a second chance.” And your donation will give that chance.

As this year’s Campaign Co-Chair, I was able to visit many organizations in Stark County who benefit from each gift given to United Way. I was shocked and humbled by the need we have in our own community and vowed then, nearly a year ago, to do what I can to help.

I was able to meet the women and children thankful for a safe place to sleep at the Domestic Violence Project. I immediately noticed the small playroom and outdoor patio where the kids, and even a few family pets, could enjoy some sun and outdoor freedom. Their stories of courage and appreciation reminded me that everyone has their own definition of home.

I visited a renovated children’s library at JRC and saw the light in a three-year-old’s eyes as The Hungry Caterpillar-themed area brought to life the book we all love. And even better, how she couldn’t wait for someone to read it to her.

I was forever moved by the stories of the women at CommQuest’s Deliverance House and heard firsthand how critical their recovery is to the future of their children, who happened to be visiting that day.

If you could see what your gift provides, I know you would join me in our campaign.

I know if you could see the difference you can make, you would send your GIFT in today.

These stories are real, the need is HERE. Your gift will work every day to fight for the health, education, and financial stability for EACH person in our community.

With your GIFT, someone will get the help they need and make Stark County stronger. Everyone in our community deserves a second chance …. please BE THE REASON they get it.

Thank you for BEING THE REASON!

Thank you for living UNITED!

Tonya Wright
2019 Campaign Co-Chair

PS – You can help re-write the stories for so many families in greater Stark County. Please make your gift today at uwstark.org/give