Giving to Nonprofits Makes Me Feel Good

Article Tom Burns, Retired State Employee

We all like to think that we are safe and secure, but one incident or accident can surprise and shock us. In 1980, my father had a massive stroke, and my mother was instantly transformed into a 24-hour caregiver for a person who had severe speech and mobility issues.

My parents lived in Illinois, and I was in Sacramento and felt helpless. My mother was getting very depressed and was beginning to develop back injuries. Then the local United Way stepped in and let my mother know about a senior daycare program that the local United Way had developed.

A Lutheran church had offered the use of their community meeting room and had recruited several volunteer church members. United Way had provided a small grant that covered the cost of a supervising daycare person and a van. Three days a week my father attended the daycare program from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and my mother finally got relief that she could count on. Now they call the help that she received “respite care”. I am convinced that it saved her life.

My story is about United Way helping my Mom happened in Rock Island, Illinois. In Sacramento, Our Promise: California State Employees Giving at Work is a partner of the local United Way of the Capital Region. I make my monthly donation to Our Promise, and United Way makes sure that my pledge goes to the non-profit agency of my choice.

Giving to non-profit agencies through Our Promise and United Way makes me feel good – like I’m a small part of the solution.