Volunteer Spotlight


United Way’s Volunteer Spotlight

Our monthly Volunteer Spotlight recognizes United Way volunteers who are passionate, inspiring and dedicated. They are individuals committed to transforming lives and whom invest in our vision of building healthy and strong communities. Thank you!


VITA volunteer spotlight
Pat Ganz, Tax Wiz

Pat Granz is the definition of a life-long volunteer. She started accompanying her mother to volunteer opportunities as soon as she could walk and it has become a tradition of a life devoted to serving her community. When I first met her, her spirit and can-do attitude were among the first things I noticed. She stands firm in her convictions and always talks positively about her family and friends.


YLS Member Spotlight
Get to know YLS Leadership Council member Christine Endres

United Way’s Young Leaders Society is lead by a dedicated group of volunteer leaders. Get to know YLS Leadership Council member, Christine Endres.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you work? What do you do for fun?  I am the mother of a kick butt nine year old boy who makes me the happiest mom on earth! I work for LifeSTEPS (Skills training & Educational Programs) and love everything about baseball.

Students from SUW show off the books they labeled in their first project on campus

Volunteers Making an Impact for the Holidays
Student United Way #Happy2Help

Leading up to the holidays, we give thanks to everyone who has made an impact in the Sacramento region during what can be a difficult time for those in our community. We have been working on several long-term projects that couldn’t have been completed without the help of volunteers like you and those we tell stories about below.

Brandi showing off some books that were labeled during the summer Campaign for Grade level Reading project.

Student United Way Founder Spotlight
Learn more about the student leaders who are bringing Student United Way to Sac State

I am Brandi Veal and I am the Vice President of the service club Student United Way (SUW) at Sacramento State. I transferred to Sac State this semester from American River College, where I received an AA in Social Science and an AS-T in Business Administration. Currently, my major is Business Administration with a Human Resource Management concentration.

Leadership Council member, Stephanie Saunders

YLS Member Spotlight
Learn more about YLS Leadership Council member Stephanie Saunders

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you work? What do you do for fun?  I work at Sway Group, a content marketing agency. For fun, I love to bake, travel, try new foods, and hang out with my husband, our pet rabbit and friends. I also write a food blog, 52 Kitchen Adventures, and share my favorite desserts.

What motivated you to join United Way’s Young Leaders Society?  I have wanted to do more volunteer work and get more involved with the community. YLS seemed like the perfect way to do both!

Trevor working hard during AmeriCorps NCCC. He and his team worked in New Orleans exposing old plumbing so new pipes could be installed.

Student United Way Founder Spotlight
Trevor Merris-Coots shares his reasons for bringing SUW to Sac State

Hey there, I’m Trevor Merris-Coots and I’m currently serving as the President of Student United Way (SUW) at Sacramento State.

I’ve lived in the Sacramento area my whole life. I grew up in unincorporated Rosemont, California. When I was about 11 I moved with my family to Carmichael, California, so you could say the American River runs through my veins.

Lindsey Smith, Leadership Council, United Way's Young Leader Society

Lindsey Smith, Young Leaders Society member and volunteer
Find out more about the bright personality that's lighting up our Young Leaders Society

Lindsey Smith is one of the newest members of the United Way volunteer community. She moved to Sacramento a few years ago and began working as an event coordinator for a local property management firm. Although she’s not originally from Sacramento, giving back to her community is in her DNA. Only two months after joining United Way’s Young Leaders Society (YLS), she stepped up to the challenge and joined the YLS Leadership Council.


Fern Shaw, Volunteer
Always in motion, this Can-Do Volunteer shares her inspiration with us.

This month the Community Engagement team sat down with one of our most ardent supporters in the corporate arena, Fern Shaw. Ms. Shaw has headed up numerous projects for UPS at several of our Nonprofit Partners over the last couple months, so we wanted take some time to get to know her and thank her for her incredible work with our team.

Community Engagement: Good Morning! Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Fern Shaw:  My name is Fern Shaw. I am married to a wonderful man, my husband John and I have two beautiful children, Jasmine who is three and Jack, who is one.

United Way Hero By Allison Moore
Carol and Roger Stoughton at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle

Roger Stoughton, Volunteer
Connecting Retirees to Causes

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.”


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.

Dustin Humes DJing at the YLS Brews & Brains event at Yolo Brewing Company

Dustin Humes, Volunteer
Find out why we're inspired by his commitment to serving the Sacramento community

This month we talked to one of our long time supporters, Dustin Humes. Dustin is the current Chair of United Way’s Young Leaders Society. He’s a loving husband, a father to an active two year old with another one on the way, and an avid volunteer. In what little free time he has, he enjoys golfing, offering his musical acumen to the general public as a wedding DJ, as well as bragging about his beautiful family.