The Changemakers: Corporate Volunteers Strengthen Community Ties

In a large warehouse just south of McKinley Park, Anthony Lighthall and his colleagues at National Futures Association (NFA) prepared for a busy day of community service.  

Outside of his human resources role at NFA, Anthony leads the company’s workplace campaign. He encourages his fellow employees to support United Way and facilitates service projects that advance our mission to build stronger neighborhoods.

“I’m happy to be partnering with United Way and I’m very excited to spearhead the campaign and be a leader this year,” Anthony said. “United Way really helps out in communities. It’s very rewarding to be a part of.”

Hosting a Day of Service is one of the many ways our corporate partners, like Anthony and NFA, can get out into the community and support their neighbors. Some projects assist United Way partners with an ongoing need, such as organizing baby goods and snacks into kits for new moms or kids in after-school programs. Others address a specific need, like cleaning up a playground or painting a school.

For NFA’s Day of Service in late March, Anthony led a project with Catholic Charities. For the entire day, he and his team sorted and packed bags of food and household goods to be delivered to low-income seniors living in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh foods and higher rates of hunger.

With these goods, these neighbors can rest assured that they know where their next meal is coming from. Thanks to the support of volunteers, they won’t have to stress about traveling to a food pantry or going hungry for the week.

Anthony’s strong desire to give back isn’t the only quality that made him a great fit to lead this project and NFA’s fundraising campaign. Along with his upbeat personality, Anthony is inspired to bring neighbors together. He recognizes how strong bonds between community members can spur long-term change – the essence of our mission here at United Way.

“We all have busy lives,” he said. “We go to work and come home. But getting to know the people next door or in your neighborhood is very important. We need to build that trust and help each other out.”  

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Looking for opportunities for your company to invest in change? Check out our Opportunity Calendar! When we all participate, we can help ensure that our neighbors have the tools they need to reach their full potential.


Stamp Out Hunger On May 12

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) National Food Drive is the largest annual one-day effort to combat hunger in the United States. Every year, millions of families, letter carriers and other postal employees, and volunteers do their part on this day to provide millions of pounds of food to those most in need. Last year, nearly 75 million pounds of food were collected in one day and donated to food banks, pantries and shelters across the country. The 2012 NALC National Food Drive is Saturday, May 12, 2012! It’s EASY to participate! Place non-perishable food products in a bag, leave at your mailbox on Saturday, May 12 and your letter carrier will pick up and deliver to local food banks or pantries. There is no better time than the NALC National Food Drive to show our appreciation for the important partnership between United Way and the NALC. This partnership is a prime example of how we work together with organized labor to advance the common good in communities throughout the United States. We have benefited greatly from this decades-long partnership, and are grateful for the support it brings us through gifts, volunteers and more.