When asked why she supports United Way, Raynor is quick to highlight that United Way knows how to invest donations where they are needed most and will have the greatest impact. Before volunteering for United Way in her workplace, Raynor didn’t realize how many valuable programs United Way supports. During a difficult time when her children were younger, Raynor accessed services at the Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre, a United Way Ottawa partner. She explained:
“My younger son has severe social anxiety. When he was younger, we needed access to mental health services and there are not nearly enough of them in the city, so that’s why United Way is our charity of choice. They find out what programs are really needed […] and what will benefit the most kids. I don’t have to do the leg work, but I know that my donation it will go to where it needs to go.”
Raynor says that in volunteering as Campaign Lead for the City of Ottawa, she has met many interesting people and built up her profile in new networks – like among city councillors. Recognizing both the professional benefits and the value for the community, Raynor strongly recommends getting involved as a Campaign Lead for United Way: “If anyone has any desire to be a part of the campaign just stand up and say so, and we can always figure out a way to do it with whatever you are able to work with. Having additional help will nearly always contribute to making the campaign more successful for the community.”
Volunteers like Raynor are important players that make United Way’s work a success. Raynor can attest to the professional development opportunities associated with giving back, but she has also witnessed first-hand the importance of her role helping vulnerable people in our community.