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United Way is my Charity of Choice

Contributed by Lacy Phelps- member, Community Resource Investment & Strategic Planning committee

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones


I have a passion for helping individuals reach their full potential and that is why I do EVERYTHING I do. This is why I became a Financial Advisor and, also, why I’m involved in the United Way of Hunterdon County’s (UWHC) THRIVE program, which helps individuals obtain jobs with good wages, safe and affordable housing, and financial stability.

I give about 12 presentation per year to various groups so I appreciate the importance of “understanding your audience.” Before each talk, I get to know the participants. What’s most important to them: is it financial independence? family? financial freedom? Stability? Each participant attends the workshop for a different reason and they have different values and goals they are working to achieve.

I start with the basics. Sometimes that’s budgeting. We have a group discussion about what’s coming in (income) verses what’s going out (expenses) and have a meaningful conversation about the difference. Sometimes we discuss paying down debt and improving one’s credit score. One of my favorite workshops is “5 Money Questions for Women,” where we review the importance of understanding (1) where you are today, (2) where you would like to be, (3) can you get there, (4) how do you get there, and (5) how do you stay on track.

The financial workshops give the participants hope and each takes away something valuable and actionable they can implement immediately. Many Hunterdon County residents don’t understand the hardships that some in our community face. United Way is attempting to identify those issues and bring programing, advocacy, and funding to help address them. The financial workshops I offer are just one of the many ways United Way lives out its vision in helping every individual THIVE.

Why is United Way my charity of choice? …because their WHY matched mine!

“Straight forward approach made me feel like I can understand this and feel motivated to take action” Julia Tozzi