Christel Silas’s first memory of volunteering is going along with her mother when she was five years old to solicit donations for a national charity. “Everyone was like, ‘Your mom is weird,’” she recalls, laughing. “But it was what she did, and I think it sparked something in me.” Today, Christel carries on that tradition of service through her participation in United Way engagement events, such as the Holiday Snack Packs food drive and Read to Me Day. “I get a feeling of fulfilment doing my duty as a volunteer,” says Christel.
In 2017, United Way engagement events brought together 3,156 volunteers from across Summit County and collected more than 250,000 supplies for local children and families. Those numbers were a striking increase over the previous year, with nearly triple the number of supplies collected and 74 percent more volunteers than in 2016. United Way’s year-round engagement calendar, filled with volunteer opportunities designed to advance its Bold Goals, is available here.
Christel, who works for GOJO Industries, considers herself lucky to work for an organization that, through its partnership with United Way, makes it easy to pursue her passion for community service. “To be able to say, ‘My employer definitely wants me to volunteer and give back’ – it makes you really proud of the workplace you’re a part of,” she says.