Megan Nichols believes in donating to nonprofits. But she’s an even bigger advocate of giving one’s time – especially with United Way agencies.
“United Way supports so many agencies whose sole purpose is serving the community,” says Nichols, commercial relationship manager for Regions Bank in Fort Smith, Arkansas. By giving time, “you can really feel the impact that United Way and their partner agencies are making.”
Nichols, who has been involved with her local United Way for more than eight years, recently volunteered alongside several other Regions’ associates as part of the United Way of Fort Smith Area’s annual Day of Caring on Sept. 16th. During the day, volunteers were dispersed to more than 80 different United Way partner agencies to do everything from painting and landscaping to meal preparation and general office work.
United Way supports so many agencies whose sole purpose is serving the community. You can really feel the impact that United Way and their partner agencies are making.
Megan Nichols, Regions commercial relationship manager in Fort Smith, Arkansas
Many of the Regions associates spent the day at the Crisis Intervention Center, an agency whose mission is to end domestic violence and sexual assault through services, education, and prevention programs. Volunteers worked to repair and rebuilt a fence around the facility – they even got to bring their own power tools – quite a change from a day in the office at Regions!
In addition to participating in the Day of Caring, Nichols serves on the Community Investment Committee, a team comprised of more than 54 community volunteers who evaluate United Way partner agency grant requests, review their financial and operational information, and visit the agencies — meeting with and interviewing directors and board members. This year, the committee was responsible for allocating more than $1.2 million to the agencies, a task that would have been all but impossible without the help of volunteers.
Nichols sits on the board of directors for Girls Inc of Fort Smith and has been on the receiving end of those interview questions. So, she’s seen firsthand how the process works on the other side. It’s also another way for Nichols to support fellow agencies.
Angie Ruth, interim Executive Director, United Way of Fort Smith Area, says it’s important for the United Way to collaborate with donors and corporate partners in as many ways as possible. “Through our different initiatives, such as Day of Caring and the Community Investment Committee, we can show our donors how their dollars are being spent. It is also a great way for individuals to get involved with our agencies and to see how our community works together.”