United Way of the National Capital Area is working with local partners to address the many needs of residents in our region. "Living United in our Nation's Capital" is a forum where United Way NCA and the community can discuss this critical work and express opinions about events and important local issues.

Jul 20, 2010

Volunteering "So Others Might Eat"...

by Doug Tees, United Way NCA Young Leaders' Serve Chair

On Sunday, July 18, I was able to Live United by volunteering at So Others Might Eat (SOME) in downtown Washington, D.C. with 8 other Young Leaders. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing first-hand the impact that a great organization makes in the community. SOME made it easy for us to contribute by having a well organized process and a volunteer coordinator who gave out assignments and kept us on our toes!

Being able to greet the clients as they came in, wish them a good day, perhaps have a quick conversation, and offer them a smile (and more often than not receiving one in return) was energizing and more fun than I anticipated.

It was a strange mix of emotions - feeling sad for the poverty in our community, grateful for United Way NCA and SOME for their support, admiration for many of the clients who were appreciative and positive despite their hardships, guilt for personally having so much, and joy to be giving my time and connecting with great people (clients, staff and volunteers) - all of this packed into a few hours on Sunday!

This was a fantastic experience, and one I know I will repeat. I appreciate that United Way NCA gives me opportunities to volunteer and connect with parts of the community that I would not see otherwise. Thanks to this experience, I am more grateful for the abundance in my life and look forward to the next opportunity to connect with other Young Leaders and Live United!

Learn more about our Young Leaders and how to get involved today. Visit Young Leaders on facebook and contact Elizabeth Owens at eowens@uwnca.org for more information.

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