Brian and Karen Erdahl

The Bottom Line: Giving is Fun

“Learning more about United Way made us realize how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to give at this level.”

Brian and Karen Erdahl have shared views on community involvement, shaped by shared experiences growing up in small communities in rural Minnesota. Although their families had limited resources, Brian and Karen were taught at an early age always to think of others. Surviving the 2004 tsunami in Phuket, Thailand heightened their respect for life’s unpredictability and their appreciation for their own good fortune.

Now a Principal at Deloitte Consulting, Brian leads large, complex systems integration projects all over the country. Brian and Karen were already long-time United Way supporters when they relocated to Pittsburgh in 2000. They became Tocqueville Society members in 2009 and Karen has chaired the Society’s Volunteer Committee for the past 5 years. “We didn’t realize the needs that were out there,” Karen said. “This experience opened our eyes and gave us a way to make a difference.”

The committee’s active members have fun planning volunteer activities that give Tocqueville Society members quarterly opportunities to participate in United Way-supported programs. Karen says the events they enjoy the most are focused on hands-on interaction with people in need. “It’s so gratifying to see what we can accomplish together in just a few hours,” Karen said.

Brian and Karen also enjoy the social aspect of Tocqueville Society membership. “It’s rewarding to be at events with other people who feel strongly about helping others,” Karen said. Perhaps the most irresistible aspect of the Erdahl’s generosity is that they’re having such a good time. Above all, they say, “Giving is fun.”