It All Adds Up: The Top Five Things Nonprofits Teach Us About Life

Shawn Robinson is the Director of Data Analytics at EQT Corporation. He is committed to bold innovation and is a devoted leader at work, home and in the community. Shawn also serves on United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors, and is the co-chair of the Next Generation/LINC Leadership Committee.

Shawn’s commitment to United Way was inspired by the variety of ways to get involved. It was easy for him to find something that ignited a spark, which fueled his commitment to become one of United Way’s top young leaders.

Here are five things Shawn learned along his journey.

  1. There’s a lot we take for granted.

Many of us find our daily commute to be a burden – the traffic, finding parking, etc. However, we have the ability and means to make that commute. Many others do not. How can someone without access to transportation get to a job they desperately need? It’s hard to not have the ability to get to where you need to go. I’ve seen the profound impact of helping someone get to work or a job interview. Something as simple as a bus pass opens the door to a world of opportunities. It was eye-opening as I learned about this and many other needs through United Way’s United for Families work.

  1. Small gestures add up.

It doesn’t take a massive effort to make a big difference. Whether it’s donating $15 to purchase five books for aspiring young readers (you can support my personal Early Literacy campaign here!) or spending a few hours cleaning up a community park, people working toward a common goal can do great things. Start small and network with others who share your passion for doing good.

  1. Getting to know other people is inspiring.

I’ve been introduced to so many great men and women around the city. Without my involvement in United Way, we never would have met. These people have inspired me and helped me to believe that together, we can really make a difference. I found that we have a lot of shared beliefs and values. I consider the people I’ve met through United Way among some of the favorite people in my life.

  1. Networking with new people helps us grow.

The personal interactions I’ve shared by being involved with United Way has helped me and others grow as individuals. We share different perspectives on life, get the chance to step outside our own worlds, and see the bigger picture. There is comfort in knowing that there are other people out there trying to make the world a better place, and that I am not alone.

  1. It’s always a good time to get involved.

There are so many ways to get involved with United Way, that anyone can fit it into their life. You can jump on board at any time! Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Adding a measure of good helps us achieve harmony and balance. Start small and continue to add more as you go and grow.