Lorrie Wilson, Volunteer
Find out why she inspires us to do more.
Lorrie Wilson is an outstanding person. She is a multitalented individual who is involved in several of United Way’s impact ventures. Lorrie keeps busy as a co-chair of Women in Philanthropy; She is also a community volunteer on the Financial Stability Impact Council; as well as becoming involved is the recently formed Retiree Giving Club. We were very honored to have Lorrie let us get to know her a little better and share with us her experiences with United Way and our affinity groups.
Community Engagement: Can you introduce yourself to our kind readers?
Lorrie Wilson: My name is Lorrie and I’m the wife of Bruce and proud mom to Kaitlin Wilson who is currently completing her sophomore year at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. I retired from the State of California after 37 years of service and since then have enjoyed serving my community, traveling, gardening, reading, taking long walks, and never, ever miss an opportunity to go see the latest movie.
CE: Even with that incredible list of hobbies, you take time to volunteer. What kind of volunteer are you?
LW: I have been a continuing volunteer with the United Way California Capital Region for quite awhile, but I also share my time wherever there’s a need. I am co-chair of Women in Philanthropy, which is a United Way group for local women dedicated to ensuring foster youth throughout our community are prepared for and successful in their futures. I’m also a community volunteer on the Financial Stability Impact Council and recently I’ve become involved in the newly-formed Retiree Giving Club. I enjoy when I can turn some of my hobbies into volunteer opportunities, for example I enjoy creating small flower arrangements for local hospice patients. I keep busy with my volunteer activities and love interacting with the United Way staff and other volunteers.
CE: How did you first start working with United Way?
LW: I became involved with the United Way Capital Region while still working for the State of California. I saw an announcement in 2008 for a Loaned Executive to work on the California State Employees Charitable Campaign (now Our Promise). I had always been involved in the state campaign in some capacity but the Loaned Executive position really appealed to me, so I applied within my department and the rest is history. Once I had the opportunity to work on the state campaign as a Loaned Executive, I was hooked. It was so rewarding to work with our generous state employees and encourage them to volunteer their time, talent or treasure to a non profit of their choice. I worked on the next five state campaigns.
CE: How are you helping us impact our local community?
LW: My involvement with Women in Philanthropy helps our local foster youth transition out of foster care into independent living. The women in this organization are amazing. They lead life skill workshops for the local foster youth, provide them with the opportunity to spend a day at the State Capitol and meet with high level state officials, hold drives to raise funds, collect towel sets and toiletries and provide holiday stockings. The Financial Stability Impact Council monitors funds for several local nonprofits (including those who support local foster youth). My recent involvement in the Retirement Giving Club is focused on reaching out to both state retirees and retirees from the private sector to thank them for their support and connect them to the local United Way volunteer opportunities and events.
CE: What’s your favorite experience/story from your service?
LW: It is very difficult to select one favorite experience. I have developed many friendships from my volunteer experience with United Way. The United Way staff are amazing and so many of the volunteers have become life long friends. I am truly blessed. I must say that I receive so much enjoyment and happiness from watching our local foster youth participate in the fashion show at our annual Women in Philanthropy luncheon. These kids are afforded the opportunity to keep the outfits in which they model and they are filled with excitement and energy when they walk down that runway. You can see their self esteem soar, and I’m in tears by the end of the show.
CE: Wow, that’s a powerful image. Can you share with us something else that inspires you?
LW: People inspire me every single day, especially those who overcome hardships. Many come from a disadvantaged place in life or are having daily struggles but those who push forward and do whatever they can as individuals to overcome these hardships or difficulties inspire me. This is why I am so passionate about working with our local foster youth. Every hour spent WITH them, every dollar spent ON them gives them an opportunity to overcome a difficult start in their life. They are amazing, and they deserve whatever we can offer.
CE: Last but not least! What’s your favorite quote?
LW: One of my favorite quotes is, “You’ve gotta dance like there is nobody watching, love like you will never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening and live like it’s heaven on earth”. William W. Purkey
If you have a volunteer who is inspiring you and helping your organization impact your local community; shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. By answering a few questions, you can nominate them to be featured in next month’s spotlight.