My United Way Story: Jason Richards
As a new resident of Greenville nearly 20 years ago, I felt very fortunate to land a job at an organization that I thought would be a great introduction to the community: United Way of Greenville County. I had no idea how life-changing that would be.
As an employee, I spent three years educating the community about the impact of United Way and raising money to help the cause. After my tenure there, I went to go work for a United Way funded agency, where I experienced the organization from a different perspective – as a funding applicant. I saw firsthand the rigor of the funding process, and I’ve appreciated ever since the thoroughness that it entails.
I left that agency to enter the private sector, but at the same time, I joined the board of a different United Way agency – one that was going through some difficult times – and as board chair there, I worked very closely with United Way staff to help the organization right the ship.
Ultimately, I joined the United Way board where I served as treasurer and board chair, and there I developed an appreciation for the thought that the United Way team puts into long-term plans and strategies.
I always like to say that I’ve worked in the kitchen of United Way, but I still enthusiastically recommend that everyone eat at the restaurant! As I tell my employees every year during our effort, a gift to United Way is the single best way to know that your resources are going to make Greenville County a better place for all, and because of that, it’s a cause that I am pleased to support now, and it’s one that I know will be leading this community for another hundred years.