Leadership Givers lift one another and our community

Leadership Givers lift one another and our community

Originally published in the Edwardsville Intelligencer. By Meghan Freeman, Director of Leadership Giving for the United Way of Greater St. Louis

Through my work with United Way, I’ve come to see that each of us as individuals can only do so much, but when we come together, we can accomplish so much more.

This is why I continue to be inspired by United Way’s Leadership Giving Societies.

Members of United Way’s Leadership Giving Societies live out their commitment to making the community a better place by coming together to magnify their impact. By partnering with United Way of Greater St. Louis, this growing group of more than 7,000 community-minded individuals can collectively make a difference on a much larger scale. Through an annual gift of $1,000 or more, Leadership Givers make our community safer, healthier and better equipped to take on the future.

There are members all across the St. Louis area, including here in the Edwardsville community. They understand firsthand how their support of United Way translates into crucial support for our Edwardsville neighbors and the entire region, strengthening our nonprofit safety net for generations to come. Abel Anderson, president of Edwardsville Bank and a United Way board member and Leadership Giver, says “I feel fortunate that I have the ability to help others and support the community by volunteering my time as a board member for United Way as well as being a Leadership giver.  I know that by giving to United Way my donations are staying local and supporting local nonprofits that are serving our community’s greatest needs.”

United Way’s Leadership Givers come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and career paths. Some are new to the region and looking to get plugged in. Others have always called St. Louis home. Some are executives in their fields; others are launching their careers.

But they all have one thing in common: They want to make a difference in their community and help make it the best it can be. Together, the Leadership Giving Society members raise millions of dollars for our region every year.

“As I reflect on United Way’s work, I think of the lyrics, ‘If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living shall not be in vain.’ It gives me joy to know, I’m helping people in my community live their best lives.,” says local Leadership Giver and Southwest Illinois Division Board Member Debra Pitts.

Members have a unique platform to engage with other community-focused leaders through special networking and cultural events, group volunteer projects and more. These opportunities allow members to learn, grow and spark positive change, while empowering one another in their personal and professional lives.

“One of the amazing benefits of being involved with the Leadership Society is getting to work with other like-minded individuals who are active in the community,” said Keith Williamson, 2021 Men’s Leadership Society co-chair and president of Centene’s Charitable Foundation.

For members, Leadership Giving is about more than committing to ongoing support. It means inspiring a greater commitment to our neighbors and the nonprofit safety net that helps us all. It means making your mark on the long-term health of our community. It means leading meaningful change in the St. Louis region. 

To learn more about Leadership Giving, visit HelpingPeople.Org/Get-Involved/Leadership-Giving.

James Taylor
James Taylor