New affinity group mobilizes ageless wisdom and experience
by Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director – United Way of Charlotte County
Early in my career with United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) I attended a conference full of leaders from other communities. One of the most interesting things I took away from that conference was the knowledge that a large affinity group called Women United was connecting women leaders from all over the world and harnessing their power and passion for the communities they live in. Founded in 2002, Women United has over 70,000 members internationally, representing 165 communities and six countries.
Leading the charge.
Inspiring the change.
As Women United was developed and has grown in Charlotte County, I have personally been inspired by the change these women are driven to make. In just 8 short years, I could certainly speak to the many successes of Charlotte County’s own Women United affinity group.
Using the same structure, UWCC has embarked on the development of a new affinity group that connects individuals in our community who have a passion to serve and support our seniors. This new group mobilizes the ageless wisdom and experience of those in our community whose unique lifetime journeys may have taken them near or far, but eventually landed them in Charlotte County. Our Board of Directors selected the name Ageless United to signify the long-lasting value this group is sure to present to our community.
The group dove into a project following Hurricane Ian, ready to make an impact before it had even officially launched to the community. Together, we rallied around the Grove City Manor residents who not only were displaced from their homes for several months following the storm, but who also lost all of their personal belongings. The initial members of Ageless United began collecting items to fill this need and ensure that the residents were welcomed home to all of those little comforts we so easily take for granted.
I have received countless phone calls from interested community groups and individuals who want to get help or give help to the seniors of Charlotte County. We welcome anyone who wants to make a difference, wants to create change and wants to engage with the community to join us.
While it isn’t easy to quantify, social isolation is a crisis in our country. The pandemic showed us how crippling it can be to close ourselves off from our community, even for a short time. Sadly, there are many in our community who are still isolated. Ageless United will offer opportunities for us to make connections, through volunteer opportunities, one-off projects and fundraising events to combat this growing problem. Again, we welcome you to join us and bring your life experiences to the table.
In the months ahead, UWCC will mobilize the two groups, Women United and Ageless United, in tandem to address the needs of families and the aging population.
I would like to thank our inaugural sponsor, HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital, for recognizing the great value there is in serving the seniors of our community. Their support of this endeavor says a lot about their love for our unique community.
To learn more about Ageless United and how you can join in, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about United Way of Charlotte County’s mission: Mobilizing the power of our community to break the cycle of poverty, please contact Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director. She can be reached at email@example.com.