Finding a place to belong
Delilah Picart knows how important it is to feel like you belong. Growing up with an autistic brother taught her to remember that our differences make us who we are. “Each of us is unique and have our own talents, but it’s critical that we have people to connect with to feel accepted,” she says.
After relocating from New York, Delilah felt a pull to get involved in the Pittsburgh community. She first joined United Way’s Be a Middle School Mentor program where she mentored two middle school girls over four years.
Delilah later attended the annual Women’s Leadership Council breakfast and was struck by the powerful experience. She said she was moved by how WLC members gather together without competitiveness, envy or jealousy – just the desire to help others. Delilah joined the Council and quickly began searching for how she could use her talents to help others.
While volunteering to work one-on-one with women working to put their lives back together after crisis, Delilah realized that simply listening to someone’s story was the most healing gift she could offer. After hearing a woman talk about fighting addiction and choosing sobriety after losing her father, Delilah left that session determined to give back in a big way.
Remembering the lessons she learned with her brother and armed with the knowledge that listening can make all the difference, Delilah began working with ACHIEVA’s Sibshops. Sibshops Pittsburgh serves as a peer support group for the siblings of children with special health and developmental needs and provides education to help facilitate supportive, long-term relationships.
“We all want to be our best person. If you have a disability, a hobby, or you are a woman, we all deserve to find a place where we belong,” she says.
To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash in Allegheny County, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Alyssa Cholodofsky in Westmoreland County, at email@example.com.