A gift that just makes sense

“I have always been passionate about being involved in the community, and United Way is the perfect outlet for me to do that.”

Growing up, Maris Bondi learned the importance of giving back to her community however she could. From learning life lessons about generosity and giving back in grade school to completing 100 hours of volunteer work in high school, Maris said her parents and teachers always encouraged a philanthropic mindset.

“It was ingrained in me in my childhood. I was always supported in my efforts to give back to my community,” Maris recalled.

Now, years later, as a member of the UPMC Health Plan team, Maris continues to be dedicated to her community. With support from colleagues and friends, she became a member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council years ago. She has since participated in various volunteer activities and served on numerous committees, including the WLC Executive Committee for nearly ten years, the United for Women RFP Committee, and she co-chaired the ‘Growing the Future Success of United for Women’ Committee just this year.

“I really liked being part of the committee to help determine the agencies that would receive United for Women funding,” Maris explained. “I enjoyed being part of the process and reading the proposals and getting to make decisions with the group of women. It made me feel like I was doing something really important for my community.”

Maris feels her involvement with the WLC has been beneficial both personally and professionally. “Personally, it gives me an avenue to give and be part of a group of other like-minded women. Professionally, I’m getting to know a lot of powerful and impactful women in our community I might not have known otherwise,” she said.

Most importantly, Maris enjoys being with this diverse group of women to connect over ways to improve the community, understand where the needs are and discuss how they can make a difference.

She encourages other women in the community to consider giving their time and treasure to the WLC. “United Way is such a wonderful organization. They give money where it matters and where it makes an impact. I have seen that first-hand throughout my experiences, and giving to United Way just makes sense,” Maris said.

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at in Allegheny County or Alyssa Cholodofsky at in Westmoreland County.