UWCA Young Philanthropists Society Hosts Kickoff Event

Jemison Jones, YPS Co-chair, welcomes guests to the Happy Hour Kickoff

Back Forty Beer Company was the place to be the night of September 24. United Way of Central Alabama’s Young Philanthropists Society hosted their annual Happy Hour Kickoff at the new brewery. YPS is a group of young professionals who live and work in Central Alabama and are creating their legacy through donating annually and volunteering with United Way.

Young Philanthropists Society Co-Chair, Jemison Jones of O’Neal Steel, started off the night by welcoming everyone to the event and introducing his father, Bill Jones, who served as the keynote speaker. Bill told his story of growing up in Birmingham and all the personalities the city is known for such as healthcare, diversity in race and industries, and good food. Bill said, “Birmingham is known for so many different things, but best known for its generosity.” He also discussed how United Way of Central Alabama is a top 10 United Way and top 5 in the number of members in the Tocqueville Society.

Since this was an event for young professionals, Jones switched his focus and talked about how Birmingham is a great place for young people wanting to be philanthropic and involved in the community. He also discussed how philanthropy became a big part of his life at a young age. In fact, his wife’s family has been extremely involved in United Way from the very beginning with her great-great-grandfather being one of the Community Chest founders, the organization that is United Way of Central Alabama today.

Bill first became involved with United Way of Central Alabama as a Loaned Executive in the 1970’s. His involvement has continued throughout the past 40 years leading to him most recently helping start the Bold Goals Coalition and currently serving as Co-chair of Bold Goals Ed

Kickoff attendees listen to keynote speaker Bill Jones

ucation. Jones said, “United Way means so much to me that I’ve gotten my whole family involved, including my sons who serve in leadership roles with the United Way Board and YPS.”

Young Philanthropists Society is currently accepting new members. As a member of this organization, you will have the opportunity to learn more about community needs and the work being done through lunchtime tours of partner agencies and chances to hear from experts in the field. YPS members also get the chance to take part in hands-on volunteer projects throughout the year, and invitations to network with like-minded peers, as well as corporate and community leaders. For more information, contact Elizabeth Ragland at eragland@uwca.org.