MEET MELISSA GRIMM, UNITED WAY BOARD MEMBER DEDICATED TO BUILDING BRIGHTER FUTURES.
"As a long-time donor to United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, and now a deeply engaged Board Member, I have always been a believer in United Way’s mission to alleviate poverty and expand opportunity for all.
We all have causes that are important to us. In my case, I knew I wanted to help children—and specifically, to help them reach their potential. One of the biggest barriers for children in our society is inequality. The quality of schools isn’t the same everywhere; some children don’t have homes to go to after school; some may go to bed hungry. If children are well-fed in a safe and stable home with empowered and involved parents, then they will have the opportunity to flourish.
Simply helping kids in an isolated way was not enough—I realized that to have long-lasting impact my efforts should be about mitigating poverty and its associated challenges. This led me to United Way.
I first became involved with United Way years ago when I volunteered as part of the Regional Board’s Community Impact Committee. We’d evaluate grant applications, so that United Way could support the most impactful and the most capable organizations serving our region, making sure that every dollar from every donor was used in an efficient and meaningful way. From there, I became more engaged with the cause and more familiar with United Way’s multifaceted approach to alleviating poverty.
Being an active board member has truly allowed me to become a better community advocate, because I now have a deeper understanding of the complexity of poverty and the type of support our region needs. I’ve long been a proponent of making libraries a focal point in the community and believe providing access to functional and digital literacy tools is fundamental to bright futures. United Way’s investments in Early Learning, Career Pathways, Financial Empowerment and Community Resiliency make these critical resources a reality for thousands across our region.
This year, United Way celebrates 100 years of impact in our region. I am proud to support an organization with deep roots and a long legacy of action. Poverty is a complex issue to resolve, but United Way is undoubtedly part of the solution and I am grateful for that. I hope to inspire more people in our region to get involved. We stand stronger together when we offer our most compassionate selves to one another. When a person reaches their greatest potential, we are all better for it.”
Follow along with our year-long #StrongerTogetherSeries as we feature insights and personal stories of the very people and bodies of work that have made us 100-years strong.