He likes to call Birmingham a “brother’s keeper” community – a place where people have a long history of looking out for each other.
And there’s a lot of work to do.
“We just cannot let each other fail,” Alan Register explained. “We’re all in this together, and we’ve all got to pick each other up.”
His comments came as he walked along a side street in a largely neglected neighborhood on a cold, blustery morning. A warm meal in hand, he was about to deliver the food to an elderly woman who relies on United Way’s Meals on Wheels program.
The food not only nourishes the body. The love and preparation that go into the meal help nurture the soul.
For many people who receive Meals on Wheels, the delivery is the only time they can count on seeing someone on any given day. It’s a chance for pleasant conversation. It’s a reminder that people care.
And on this day, as Register – an Executive Vice President at Regions Bank – delivered meals, it was a chance to meet directly with the people he would be serving in the months ahead as chairman of the 2018 United Way of Central Alabama campaign.
There was no press conference announcing his chairmanship. There was no fanfare. Rather, he began his term the same way he’s approached volunteer service over 18 years of living in Birmingham: by rolling up his sleeves and giving of his time to serve other people.
The campaign is vital to people and families across Central Alabama who receive essential services delivered by United Way and its 80 partner agencies and initiatives. During the campaign, people and businesses make contributions that, in turn, allow each agency to carry out its mission.
Those missions range from meal delivery for homebound seniors, to offering stable housing for veterans, providing shelter for abused women and children, connecting at-risk children with mentors, providing job training to people with disabilities, offering financial education to help people improve their finances, and much more.
“Every single day of the year, United Way touches thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people in Central Alabama in very unique ways,” Register said. “As campaign chairman, I want to help more people recognize just how beneficial United Way is, not only to individual people – but to our community as a whole. There’s a high calling on all of us to support the people around us. And no one brings people together to serve and support our community quite like United Way.”
Joined by his wife, Karen, Register visited people throughout Birmingham’s Kingston area and delivered not only a warm, nutritious meal – but also a warm, friendly smile.
“We’re going to deliver 700 meals today. And this happens five days a week with over 500 volunteers,” Register pointed out, referencing the army of volunteers and support workers needed to reach people who depend on the program.
And he made it clear, it’s not only Meals on Wheels clients who benefit. The people who donate, volunteer and serve see a tremendous benefit, too.
“It made our day, and it leaves a lasting impression, to meet with people and, once again, see first-hand how United Way is making a meaningful difference in the lives of so many people,” Register said. “And what we saw today is the work of one agency, Meals on Wheels. There are hundreds of additional United Way programs that serve a diverse range of people in Birmingham and our surrounding counties. Think about how many lives are being touched each day by each one of these programs. That’s where your support goes when you support United Way.”
Serving as campaign chairman is a natural extension of Register’s long-term involvement with United Way. Throughout 2018, he is determined to help United Way increase its reach in the lives of others while delivering important, sustainable services for people from a wide variety of backgrounds, all across the region.
“We have to be aware of the needs around us,” Register said. “We don’t want to just react to them. Rather, we want to be out here in our communities and consistently asking ourselves, ‘How can we help? What else can we do?’ By staying in touch with the people and the needs all around us, we can work together to solve problems, support our communities and make life better for even more people – every day.”
The United Way campaign will begin on May 31 with the annual Pacesetter Kickoff, and the general campaign kickoff is scheduled for September 6.
United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.
To learn more about United Way’s impact in your community, visit www.uwca.org.