Anyone who has ever donated time or money to a cause wants to know that their support is fostering good work. Recently, members of United Way of Central Alabama’s Tocqueville Society, who are vital to the services that United Way provides, got to experience just that!
The Alice M. Williams Building, named after the first female Chair of the Board of United Way, was recently purchased with the generous help of individual and corporate donors. Together with the two standing buildings the public is already familiar with, this new addition creates the United Way campus, opening space to expand current offerings as well as bring other services, such as Meals on Wheels, onto the campus for the first time. Becky Wright, Director of Meals on Wheels, says, “One of the incredible benefits of having Meals on Wheels at the United Way campus is the increased face-to-face time we get with our volunteers. They are the “wheels” of Meals on Wheels and are so vital, so we love getting to interact with them.”
The next stop on the tour was the 2-1-1 Call Center, where three full-time specialists are available to make sure that when you call to be connected to a resource, you’re talking to a real person and not a robot. Members learned that in times of high call volume, other United Way employees can be cross trained to share the load, so that the level of excellence and speed of communication are never compromised. On the same floor, the Tocqueville Society members saw the new home base of the Priority Veteran service, which has served over 3,500 Alabama veterans since its inception in 2013.
One of the services that has benefitted significantly from the new space is the Crisis Center, a program whose main phone center resides in the Alice M. Williams Building. Their mission is “to serve the unmet needs of people experiencing personal crisis or mental health issues and respond with services that promote coping, emotional health and well-being.” The work that the volunteers do is incredibly important, and emotionally heavy. What was once a small, cramped space in another building has become bright and spacious, with ample windows to let in sunlight and space for privacy. The importance of a positive attitude is now reflected and encouraged by the space itself, a small but important change that helps facilitate volunteers being in the best mindset possible to take their calls.
Members who joined the Tocqueville Society during the pandemic were thrilled to be able to see a new physical part of where needed services are delivered, and members of over twenty years raved about how the scope of United Way and its ability to serve its community has exponentially increased over time as it has grown. If you are interested in learning more about the Tocqueville Society, how it makes a difference in the community, and how to join, visit Tocqueville Society – United Way of Central Alabama (uwca.org).