Helping create a community of volunteers

“Our funds and services are changing people’s lives right here in our community.”

Joann Tissue knows many people who have experienced difficult times in their lives and knows what it feels like to need help. “One of the things I hear at various WLC meetings is – ‘disaster is one paycheck away.’ That really strikes a chord with me,” she shared.

It is therefore important to Joann to volunteer her time and contribute financially to those in need. She joined Hefren-Tillotson in 2009 where she met CEO Kim Fleming, a long-time member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC). Kim encouraged Joann to join the WLC about six years ago.

“I’ve learned that if you’re in the position to give financially, you should. And if you have the time to volunteer, you should do that also, and you can personally see the impact you’re making,” Joann shared. “Women in the WLC are so passionate about giving back to their community, and that passion is contagious and inspiring.”

Now, Joann co-chairs the WLC’S Volunteer Lead Site Committee and is charged with gathering a leader from each workplace committee to rally volunteers in their various companies. Joann had volunteered with United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior for a few years and also volunteers with United Way’s Day of Caring. The annual event, held in the fall, brings hundreds of volunteers together at sites in and around the city for a day-long event to help thousands of local people. Joann looks forward to this event and rallies her colleagues to volunteer each year as well. Hefren-Tillotson is a very philanthropic company that promotes volunteerism, so getting people to step us is easy.

“The Day of Caring gives me a sense of purpose, and I’m helping an organization that I think very highly of,” Joann reflected. “It’s an opportunity to give back and meet new people along the way.”

Joann is grateful to be in a position to help others and encourages people who are able to consider volunteering with United Way or joining the WLC. “It’s easy for me to relate to people in need, and I appreciate being in a position to help,” she reflected.

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