The River Region United Way is lucky to count on many longtime supporters in our communities, people who have consistently given back over the course of many years. People like Gene Crane, executive vice president and business banking manager with River Bank & Trust. Gene has worked in the River Region banking industry for 30 years, and has been a RRUW donor and volunteer every since. We asked Gene to share some of his reasons for supporting the United Way in our community.
RRUW: How long have you been a supporter of/donor to River Region United Way?
GC: In the fall of 1987 I participated in an employee campaign at AmSouth Bank and began giving though payroll deduction. I have continued to support the campaign as a donor every year since then.
RRUW: Wow! That’s 30 years! But you’ve also served in volunteer roles with United Way during that time, haven’t you?
GC: I have acted as a campaign volunteer in numerous campaigns over the years and chaired the corporate segment of the campaign on a couple of occasions. I also spent a number of years on the board of directors and ultimately served as board president in 2010-2011.
RRUW: What did you personally take away from chairing the United Way Board for two years?
GC: I saw first-hand the care and compassion that so many community volunteers have for their friends and neighbors in the River Region. Watching the staff, fellow board members, campaign volunteers and members of the Community Council work so hard, and give so freely, to the benefit of thousands of people they will never meet was very touching.
RRUW: What is it about United Way that has kept you consistently engaged for so long?
GC: It’s an organization that represents what is good about our community and is a wise steward of donors’ dollars.
RRUW: What do you see as the greatest contribution United Way has made to the community while you’ve been involved with UW?
GC: I think great achievements happen every day in the eyes of those who benefit from our agencies when a resource has been made available to them - thanks to United Way - in their personal time of need.
RRUW: What would you say to someone who has never given to United Way?
GC: Ask yourself if you think there are others in the community who may be experiencing tougher challenges than you are. By sharing your resources or your talents with the United Way, you can have a positive impact on the lives of people dealing with domestic violence, an elderly person struggling to prepare their own meals, a homeless person seeking shelter, a child wanting to take advantage of programs at the YMCA, a family struggling to raise a child with special needs, and on and on. Your supports impacts lives in a very positive way.
RRUW: How would you encourage others to get involved?
GC: Everyone has different talents and different ways to get involved with United Way, but the campaign is a great way to get involved. It takes the effort of a lot of people to raise $5,000,000, and in helping the campaign in achieving this goal, you will learn about the agencies, the volunteers, and the lives that we impact through our collective efforts.
If you’d like to give back to your community, there’s still time to give to this year’s Campaign! Click here to make a secure online donation today.