Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”

As I look back over the past 10 years, I am able to answer that question through my involvement with United Way. I grew up in this community and my grandfather, Harry Moore, chaired the United Way campaign in 1961. However, a little more than a decade ago, I realized I didn’t have a solid understanding of the need in our community and how United Way addresses it.

Shortly after United Way’s Young Leaders Society began, I was invited to a scavenger hunt event. The scavenger hunt sounded like a fun afternoon activity, so I joined a team. During the scavenger hunt, I was fully introduced to the impact of United Way and the work of United Way’s Community Partners. I was familiar with places like the Salvation Army and Boys & Girls Clubs, but actually seeing first-hand the work being done is entirely different from just hearing about it. I also learned about other partners such as Carter Hope Center, RossWoods and Whitfield County-Dalton Day Care Center to name a few. I had been a faithful donor to United Way for years, but my involvement definitely grew after the scavenger hunt. Everything made sense for me. I realized that although I had lived here all of my life, I had no idea what was around the corner.

Our community is such a special place. We are fortunate to live where people are so generous. We have many needs, but we also have many solutions for the needs. We only have to support them. It’s good to be a part of United Way, the expert organization that sees all of the needs and meets them in the most efficient and effective way.

My involvement in United Way helps me answer the question of what I am doing right now to bring positive change. However, I want the success of United Way to continue long into the future. The Young Leaders Society is engaging the next generation of leadership donors, and we are working to create an environment where they want to contribute and participate.

As United Way’s 2017 board chair, I focused on continuing United Way’s standard of excellence. United Way is a place where people from all walks of life can join together and make an impact. The mission is simple: improving lives, inspiring donors, uniting community. United Way serves more than 59,000 individuals in our community each year and makes a huge impact.

Although my time as board chair has ended, I’ll still be focused on continuing the standard of excellence and ensuring that United Way continues to thrive. As I look forward to seeing more of the next generation join in the fight for education, basic needs and health, I’d like to invite young professionals to join the Young Leaders Society at any of our upcoming events.

• January 22: Trivia Night at Cherokee Brewing + Pizza from 6 to 8 p.m.

• Feb. 15: Lunch with Leaders with Karen Mendelsohn, senior vice president of marketing at Mohawk Industries, at Mohawk Light Lab, 431 S. Green St. at noon.

• March 2: Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday! Grab a hat and read with the Cat at United Way community partners Friendship House and Whitfield County-Dalton Day Care Center from 9 to 10 a.m.

For more information about United Way’s Young Leaders Society and our upcoming events contact I hope you’ll join us at a Young Leaders Society event soon to connect and grow with us!

Matthew Moore was the 2017 United Way board chair and works in the legal department at Shaw Industries.

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