Up and coming changemakers from across Central Alabama recently met at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens to pool their enthusiasm for, and commitment to, United Way of Central Alabama’s (UWCA’s) annual campaign. They were all members of United Way’s Young Philanthropists Society (YPS), a group of young professionals who live and work in Central Alabama and channel their talents and passion to advance the common good while expanding their social and professional networks. Each member supports UWCA with an annual gift of $1,000 or more.
The benefits of being a member of YPS include opportunities for lunchtime tours of partner agencies, hearing from industry experts, volunteer projects and networking events with like-minded peers as well as corporate and community leadership. With more than 550 members and $1.4 million raised since its inception, this group is making a big difference in our community!
As part of the gathering, members enjoyed a delicious dinner and inspirational speakers. Michelle Littleton of Children’s of Alabama, a UWCA partner agency, described the important work involved in providing a support system for families with sick children. From offering social services team to helping make the holidays festive for kids who are hospital-bound, the work at Children’s is diverse and essential. Michelle thanked the YPS members for their contributions to UWCA, knowing that part of that money goes towards the hospital. “We are here because you are there for us,” she said.
Members also heard from Zachary Gentile, Senior Vice President of the Ford Meter Box Company and this year’s Co-Chair of the Loaned Executive team at UWCA. He talked about United Way’s work to create opportunities for individuals and families through initiatives such as Success By 6, which helps the youngest children be better prepared for a successful start in school. He also discussed the sobering reality of 40-year-high inflation. ”If we give just what we gave last year, fewer people will be able to receive service,” he said.
YPS is a highly motivated, energetic and synergistic group, striving to making a difference and move our community forward. To learn more, visit Young Philanthropists Society – United Way of Central Alabama (uwca.org).