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Board President Annual Meeting Address

Annual Meeting Address - June 11, 2020 - You can view the Address here.

My involvement with United Way of Hunterdon County began in the fall of 2015 when I answered a request for Holiday Hands volunteers placed the Hunterdon County Democrat.  During my service that fall, I began to see that there were far more families and individuals in my community - my neighbors - who were struggling than I ever realized.  I had come from a fee-for-service non-profit that served our community’s youth and worked hard to raise funds to allow program participation for children who qualified for free and reduced lunch.  However, before coming to United Way, I never really recognized ALICE - those who are working and earning too much to qualify for government-subsidized assistance, but too little to afford the basics of housing, food, healthcare, childcare, and transportation.

Since that fall, I’ve given more of my time, my talents, and my treasure to support the important and necessary work we do to support our community and its families.  As the chairperson of our CRISP committee, I had the privilege this past fall of sitting down with a small group of our clients to talk candidly about the challenges ALICE faces in our community.  When asked an open-ended question about community resources to support ALICE, a young, single mother, who herself works for a local non-profit agency, answered, “United Way is an important community resource because your services are instant and easy to obtain.  There is no crazy qualification paperwork.  People come in with a need and walk out with it met.  This level of response represents more than just “help in the moment” because it builds trust and connections between those who have and those who have not.”  I left the discussion that evening incredibly proud of this organization and my investment in its work.

For 38 years, United Way of Hunterdon County has worked to advance equity, reduce disparities, and advance the common good of our community.  In doing so, and making impacts like those shared with you tonight, we have earned the trust of our corporate, community and non-profit partners, of our donors and volunteers, and most importantly, of the people we serve.  There’s no doubt that we have much work still to do and a challenging road ahead, but, because of and in partnership with you, we are poised and ready to rise to the challenge, and will continue to be a kind and trusted resource to and for our community. 

Rebecca Testa

Board of Trustees, United Way of Hunterdon County