Volunteer Spotlight: Adam & Kristen Tuiletufuga
For our second National Volunteer Month spotlight, we caught up with Adam and Kristen Tuiletufuga whose service through our Keep the Lights On initiative just a few months ago helped Greenville County families and individuals with utility and rental assistance.
Learn more about how this young couple is stepping up to help out in our community:
How long have you been volunteering with United Way?
We have been volunteering with United Way since we moved to Greenville County in 2017 after graduating from Clemson. We separately started volunteering and donating through our respective employers, but once we saw the needs, we sought out more opportunities to help on our own!
What inspired you to help out through our Keep the Lights On initiative?
The pandemic laid bare the challenges that our community had been facing beforehand and then proceeded to exacerbate them. While we were blessed to have remained employed during this time, we knew that this wasn’t the case for many in the community. We had been looking for a way to give back, and the Keep the Lights On Initiative was the perfect opportunity to help those who needed it most.
How did this experience impact the way you think about the need in our community?
Neither one of us has experienced first-hand the fear of losing electricity, clean water, or a roof over our heads. Meeting people who are struggling to make ends meet, especially during COVID, opened our eyes to how isolated we can be. It’s easy to miss the needs around us. People are struggling all across Greenville. The support given through Keep the Lights On was a true relief to people and we are happy to have played even the smallest part.
What does volunteerism mean to you?
“See a need, fill a need,” might be a quote from the animated movie Robots, but it reflects how we see volunteer opportunities. If we have time to help, we want to help in any way we can. Volunteering allows us to help groups like United Way help others and enables us to invest our time in the community we call home.
Why do you support United Way?
We have only witnessed the consequences of inequity and the impact that it can have on individuals. However, that has been enough to make us want to take action, and United Way provides multiple ways to act. We appreciate United Way’s focus on impacting the community by supporting and collaborating with local organizations to meet the specific needs that exist in our here in Greenville.
What would you tell someone who’s interested in serving our community?
Everyone can help! If you’re not sure where to start, just try responding “yes” if you have the time! We have also found that volunteering with friends can be even more fun and fulfilling.