Campaign associates function as extensions of United Way’s Resource Development team in coordinating employee fundraising campaigns and soliciting employee pledges throughout the Charlotte region. Although seasonal employees, campaign associates are an important part of United Way’s work and play a vital role in successful employee campaigns.


Here, Elena Suarez reflects on her time as a United Way campaign associate during the fall 2019 campaign season.


To me, it was a gift from God that this campaign associate position with United Way of Central Carolinas showed up exactly when it did and the way it did. It became the perfect transition to a new city and a new stage of life, post-career. And I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity.


I jumped into this entry-level position at the end of a successful 40-year career. The work itself has been lots of fun. Where else can one work and have such a variety of experiences?


I’ve made PB&J sandwiches for area shelters, assembled school supply bags for local children, cheered my coworkers as they pulled a jet for one company’s campaign, assisted with a carnival for another company’s campaign, sold mulligans at golf tournaments benefiting United Way, found a children’s hospital to take 1,000 donated teddy bears, helped create poverty simulation workshops, received valuable storytelling training and learned about many of the positive and good things happening in our community.


Through this experience I learned:


  • I can go with the flow and do OK without over preparing when I was asked to facilitate a poverty simulation that I had only seen once at one of our kickoffs. This is HUGE for me.
  • When we show up to do what we do, sometimes there are surprises that make our job easier.
  • How hard it is for people to overcome the poverty situation they are in.
  • Quite a bit about the needs of our community and the many opportunities I have to serve as a volunteer.
  • How moving it is to witness employees making a difference for others. I will never forget the warehouse employee I saw writing encouragement cards for kids and rewriting them in an effort to make them perfect for kids he will never know.


What has been most impactful, however, is to work with such a high caliber of people that truly care about our community and whose common goal is to serve those that need to be lifted up so that they can also live a dignified life and share in the vast resources available in this great country that we all live in.


I have been blessed to work here and to play a small part in this noble work. And I look forward to the next step in my journey, made better by what I have received at United Way of Central Carolinas.


Learn more about ways to join the United Way team.