This past Monday I had the opportunity to serve on an Allocations Panel for the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. It was a wonderful experience!

We’ve all heard of the United Way and know that it is a charitable organization. What many of us may not know is all that they support through funding right here in our local communities. Jessica Rine, the Executive Director for the Upper Ohio Valley is literally everywhere, spreading the word and encouraging organizations to apply for support. It is a win-win for everyone!

So, back to the panel. How the panels work is that each agency requesting funding presents its case to the Panel by showing financial statements, highlighting what they have been able to do with previous funds, making a request for the needed amount, and the possible impact of not receiving funding.

Once the presentations are completed the panel meets to discuss each agency and to determine if they will be funded and in what amount. The discussions are lively and thoughtful with consideration of all aspects of an agency. I particularly appreciated the depth and candor of the discussions. No rubber stamp, but really looking at the impact an agency has on the people and community served.  

The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is an organization that really makes a difference. If you have an opportunity to donate funds or to participate as a volunteer, I encourage you to do so. It will not only make your life more fulfilling, you might just change the life of someone else. Win-Win!