A long-time United Way supporter shares her story about what it means to volunteer, and how other seniors and retirees can benefit from giving back
In honor of the many senior citizens who volunteer with United Way of Hunterdon County, we highlight the service and dedication of a long-time volunteer, Alice Brydia.
Alice started volunteering with United Way of Hunterdon County 23 years ago, shortly after she retired from Hunterdon County National Bank. She has resided in Hunterdon County for over 50 years and has made significant contributions in our communities through her leadership and philanthropic efforts. Alice describes herself as a life-long volunteer, having served as a member of numerous Hunterdon County institutions including the Clinton Township Board of Education, Immaculate Conception Church in Annandale, Brownies and Girl Scouts, Meals on Wheels, Clinton Township schools, and the Clinton Township Recreation Committee.
Soon after she began volunteering with United Way of Hunterdon County, Alice became involved with a number of groups and committees including service on the Nominating, Finance, Campaign, PR/Marketing, Signature Event, Long Range Planning, and Executive Committees, as well as 6 years on our Board of Trustees (from 2000-2006). Alice was the very first recipient of our Sustained Volunteerism Award in 2013, an award bestowed on volunteers who have volunteered for 10+ consecutive years, have served on various committees and boards, have acted as an Ambassador for United Way to bring in new volunteers, and expresses a clear passion for the work we do. During previous annual meetings, Alice was referred to as the “Vanna White of United Way” in recognition of her 15+ years of helping to present campaign awards. She also has involved her children and grandchildren in United Way volunteer activities and thinks that getting children involved is a great way for senior and retired volunteers to bond and connect with family and younger generations.
During her time with UWHC, Alice has made life-long friends with fellow United Way volunteers. She tells us that those friends have been with her through many milestones and changes in her life, and that the wonderful connections she has made are extremely meaningful to her – both as part of United Way and as close friends outside of volunteering.
Alice is now living in her own unit in a Flemington assisted living facility, and still makes time to volunteer with us by helping with mailings that our staff bring to her. Alice appreciates having activities that keep her involved with the United Way community, and that she can also encourage others in her facility to become involved.
When reflecting on the reasons to be a volunteer in Hunterdon County, Alice shared that many of us might take for granted the comfort and beauty of this region without fully understanding the struggles of those who aren’t as fortunate. She wants us to see that when you start to really get to know your neighbors, you’ll see that many of them have needs that the community can help to fulfill. Whether it’s donating goods for back-to-school or holiday gift drives, delivering meals, getting involved in schools or churches or community activities, there’s a role for everyone to help give back.
Alice especially encourages other seniors to get involved locally and believes that everyone has something to give. She tells us that seniors have so many talents collected from their life’s experiences, and it is meaningful to share those skills and to continue to be a part of the community no matter what your age and ability. One of the greatest gifts she sees is the ability to give back, and she’ll do so as long as she can. Alice considers United Way of Hunterdon County as her “second home,” and it’s a door that we’ll always keep open for her and fellow volunteers and friends.
Thank you, Alice, for your dedication to our community.