By Stacy Juchno, PNC Financial Services Group Executive Vice President and General Auditor, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania Board Vice Chair
As we close out Women’s History Month 2023, there’s no better time to pause and recognize the many vital roles women play in our society. We are daughters, sisters, friends, wives or mothers. And many of us also serve as volunteers, donors, managers, leaders or CEOs. In our homes and across the region, countless dynamic women are leading the way.
Regardless of how many roles we play as women, I think we can all agree that we’re busy. Balancing a career, friends, family, hobbies, exercise – there’s a lot on our plates. That’s why my first role with United Way was donor. From the beginning, it was clear that United Way is tuned into the needs of our community in a way I could never be on my own. Their team can chisel down and pinpoint the root cause of an issue, then rally the right people to create a long-term solution. All I needed to do was donate and I knew the good work was happening.
As my career grew, I stepped up my financial commitment, and I became a member of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC). Then, not only was I connected with an absolutely incredible group of philanthropic women, I was also invited deeper into United Way’s funding process. I was amazed to learn about the detailed process and how rigorous the standards are. There’s a reason United Way is continuously awarded with Charity Navigator’s top honor for its dedication to transparency, efficiency and financial management.
More than visiting agencies and reading reports, I have seen United Way’s work in action. A few years back, I noticed a man panhandling in the same spot every day. I would occasionally give him money and we started to chat. I learned that he was experiencing homelessness and connected him to United Way’s PA 211 Southwest. Thankfully, United Way’s team was able to put him in touch with a partner agency that helped him find housing and other resources he needed.
I saw United Way change his life. And I know they change countless others every day.
Earlier this month, United Way hosted ‘Celebrate to Elevate’ to honor the impact of WLC members and highlight a record-breaking $9.3 million raised. As a previous WLC Co-Chair, it was truly moving to be in that room and feel the connection and commitment WLC members have for this work. That night, because of the passionate and generous women in our region, more than $60,000 was raised. In one night. I have goosebumps thinking about it and how many people will be helped by those donations.
WLC plays a significant role in the leadership of and contributions to United Way, but the network of women involved in this work extends beyond that: women are on our Board of Directors, they are employees contributing to their workplace campaigns, they are leaders of partner agencies, and they are doing the hands-on work in our communities! From President and CEO Bobbi Watt Geer to even the newest employee, United Way’s staff always goes the extra mile to get the work done.
No matter how much time, talent or treasure you have to share, please join me in sharing it with United Way. In my new role as Board Vice Chair, I hope to use my passion to advance the work and maybe even inspire a young woman to see herself in a leadership role. Because she belongs there.
Learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council at uwswpa.org/womens-leadership-council-wlc.