Sioux Falls Up and Coming members visited the Sioux Empire United Way offices on August 18 to learn more about the program from Olivia Essig, Marketing & Campaign Associate, and Kate Kotzea from ClickRain who volunteers as the Employee Gifts Division Chair on the Campaign Cabinet, volunteers with Community Impact, and is on the steering Committee that launched Emerging Leaders.
See below for more information from Essig about SEUW and how young professionals can help the campaign.
What does SEUW offer the community?
United Way is one of the most efficient donations you can make in the Sioux Empire. A donation to United Way is a donation to over 80 programs in need of funds. We work with over 100 volunteers each year who decide where money is needed the most. Over 90 cents of every dollar raised is invested in funded agencies, and with so many programs, that money effects 1 in 3 people in the Sioux Empire who may be suffering from hunger, homelessness, health problems, etc.
What do you think is the biggest need in Sioux Falls right now?
I think what makes United Way so great is that we don’t pick a need that is the ‘greatest”. We recognize that if a child does not have the resources to eat, he may also be lacking a mentor in his life to look up to and guide him in the right direction, or someone to take care of him after school until Mom and Dad get home. We realize that people who have one need, often have many, and in order to break the cycle you really need to lift them up and tackle all of these needs.
How can young professionals get involved with SEUW?
We have learned that young professionals are often extremely eager to get involved, and when they get involved—they really dedicate themselves. They often crave real-life experiences versus one-time, transactional giving. Because of this, we launched Emerging Leaders. The group is in 4 parts: Learn, Connect, Serve, & Share In Your Community. Each month, we gather to learn about a United Way Funded Agency and the following month, we go out and “get our hands dirty” with an actual volunteer opportunity. It’s really a great way to get in the door of a variety of nonprofit agencies in Sioux Falls and gain a better understanding, first-hand.