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, Ryan Harris reflects on his time as a United Way campaign associate during the fall 2019 campaign season.

 

Jack London once said: The function of man is to live, not to exist… To waste time is to waste life

 

8:00 a.m.

 

I’m dreading the day. Standard nine-to-five jobs are rarely fulfilling.

 

12:00 p.m.

 

I’ve glanced at the clock seven times, pleading for the release from the monotony of customer service.

 

3:00 p.m.

 

They never tell you that most prisons are voluntary. That shackles resemble tattered office chairs and the sentence you carry is tucked within the confines of your mind. The willingness to succumb to meaningless transaction fueled by the need to make enough to afford your cell.

 

End of Day

 

My cheek begins to hurt from all the fake smiles I’ve been forced to give to appease people who’d sooner tighten my chains if it meant they could get a faster transaction.

 

A call from United Way of Central Carolinas would forever change me. I’ve been released…

 

Genuine care shines so brightly. I’ve roamed around in the darkness of unfulfillment for so long my eyes haven’t quite adjusted.

 

8:00 a.m.

 

My time with United Way has been nothing but incredible light. Internally, I was able to learn the challenges of fundraising coupled with the strength of making an ask for something you believe in.

 

12:00 p.m.

 

I am experiencing the reward of being able to offer my thoughts and opinions and have them valued. I’ve been surrounded with support and encouraged to do more than I ever thought I could, freed from the bondage of stagnation. I’m growing.

 

3:00 p.m.

 

I know now the gratification of growing within an organization that genuinely cares about you, each other and the community it aims to serve. It dismantles the concrete blocks that bind our neighborhoods and shifts the way we think about our lives.

 

End of Day

 

My biggest takeaways are that change is slow, but necessary; privilege can be measured in not only social status but the opportunity to serve; and failure to help your community carries with it 121,000 life sentences.

 

Learn more about ways to join the United Way team.