Donna Tighe: The Importance of Volunteering
Donna Tighe, a volunteer and a new Southern Region Community Impact Committee (CIC) member, was first introduced to Granite United Way 29 years ago. As the Director of a new program in Derry, Donna met the CEO of Parkland Medical Center, who introduced her to the local United Way. One conversation led to another and Donna was encouraged to apply for funding. “That $2,500 grant was the first step in a decade’s long journey with United Way,” said Donna.
In 2015, Donna was invited to become more involved with United Way as a volunteer on the local CIC. She decided it would be interesting to gain a different perspective on how United Way operated.
Donna’s volunteer experience has changed everything about how she now thinks of a grant applicant and recipient. “The work of a CIC volunteer is grueling. The requests far outweigh the available resources, despite often compelling proposals, and each CIC member struggles with the decision-making process because we all know that not everyone will get what they have asked for or need,” said Donna. “It has been an eye-opening experience for me.”
As an agency director, Donna finds that she is more charitable in her own life and within her agency because she has seen first-hand what generous people can do. “Volunteering is outside of a comfort zone for some people because it is a commitment, but I encourage anyone to try it and see how they feel about themselves after the fact.”
United Way has offered a path for Donna’s agency to break new ground, learn new ways of doing business, and become responsible caretakers of donated resources. Donna credits the leadership and support of Granite United Way for involving her and her organization in the South Central Public Health Network a collaborative group providing leadership for the Public Health Advisory Council.
“I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to be a part of the change in public health in NH, and potentially improve the health status and well-being of residents in this region."