Carol and Roger Stoughton at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle

Roger Stoughton, Volunteer
Connecting Retirees to Causes

United Way Hero By Allison Moore

Hard-working volunteers rarely see themselves as heroes or anything more than someone trying to make a small difference in their community. It came as no surprise that when I sat down with United Way’s Retiree Giving Club volunteer, Roger Stoughton, and used the word “hero,” he balked at the idea. However, as our conversation unfolded and I learned about all that Roger and his wife Carol have contributed over the last 30 years, both in time and financially, it’s clear that the Stoughtons are true examples of community heroes.

Roger worked for the State of California for more than 30 years. He was always active in the state’s giving campaign, designating some of his donations to his church, St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Sacramento and United Way. When I asked him why United Way, he explained that United Way covers a lot of organizations that make an impact in the community. As a long-time resident of Carmichael, it’s important to Roger and Carol that money stays local and supports the region where they live and have raised a family.

In Roger’s words, “charity begins at home.”

When Roger retired, he continued giving through payroll deduction, but because he was out of the traditional workplace, he no longer received news about the impact his donations were making, or had contact with other like-minded retirees. Leave it to Roger to change that! He wrote a letter expressing the importance of mobilizing retirees who want to contribute their time and resources towards the common goal of making our community the best place to live and raise a family. It was perfect timing because United Way was already putting the framework around a retiree program. After meeting with staff, Roger quickly became a founding member of United Way’s Retiree Giving Club leadership committee. The club officially launches this July, right before the start of the 2015 giving campaign. Roger assures me that they have a lot of great things planned!

In addition to his work on the Retiree Giving Club, Roger is a member of the social justice advocacy group at St. Mark’s, which is working with Sacramento Steps Forward to end homelessness. He also helps with the church’s jubilee project, a loan program that offers an alternative to pay-day loans, and was an active member of the Sons of Retirement choir, which provides fellowship and activities for seniors. Roger’s wife Carol, also has spent many years making a positive impact. As a long-time nurse and public health advocate, she organized a grassroots committee to adopt a tobacco free policy in the San Juan Unified School District in Sacramento, then coordinated its tobacco education efforts. Carol was named a Hero in Healthcare from Head Start for her work in the school district.

We are honored to call the Stoughtons donors, volunteers and local heroes. Thank you for your support and dedication.

For more information about the Retiree Giving Club, please contact Russ Gostage at 916-856-3905.