Pittsburgh newcomer gets connected via United Way

“United Way offers solutions to some of the most difficult situations we face.”

When Christine Raetsch moved to Pittsburgh last year, she didn’t just begin a job search. She began to think about ways to build her network and make an impact in the community she and her husband were now calling home.

Christine was involved with United Way of Philadelphia, her home of 20+ years, so it was natural to connect with United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and join the Women’s Leadership Council.

“As I was trying to navigate how I wanted to become involved with the non-profit sector in this region, I counted on United Way to help connect me and expose me to what’s going on,” she said. “When you’re brand new to the area and you want to give back in a more strategic way, it’s hard to navigate that on your own.”

Christine learned of United Way’s Free Tax Prep initiative and immediately recognized an opportunity. “I don’t love doing taxes,” Christine admitted, “but I’ve been a volunteer tax preparer for three years and what I do love is being able to make a real difference for people who are getting their hard-earned money back in their tax refund”

“These are working people,” Christine explained. “The Earned Income Tax Credit can be big money, a significant portion of their income for the year.”

“It’s so rewarding,” she added. “I’ve seen people be able to buy a car for the first time, which helps them get to a different, better job that was out of reach because public transportation didn’t get there. I saw another use it to buy training materials to help with computer skills needed for her job.”

Christine is excited to serve clients in Pittsburgh this tax season. To learn more about United Way’s Free Tax Prep program, visit

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