Volunteers are the Heart

Email here to Volunteer: support@unitedwayccfl.org

UWCC Recruits Community Impact Panel Volunteers

by Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director – United Way of Charlotte County

It truly touches my heart that volunteers genuinely care about Charlotte County and the individuals and families who are in need and striving to reach their full potential.  I’ve said it before and I’m sure you’ll hear me say it many times.  Volunteers are the heart of our community, mobilizing to make an exponential difference. In this column, there is an exciting opportunity to join us in mobilizing for a better community.  

UWCC oversees and allocates grant funds from local donor contributions and governmental support, Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners, and the City of Punta Gorda. Every two years, United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) organizes Community Impact Panels, which are made up of community volunteers. These volunteers collaborate as a team for this funding, engage in on-site visits to the organizations seeking funding, and deliberate on the value of the information gathered.

You are invited to be part of this process and learn more about some wonderful community organizations. It is not your UWCC staff deciding on who is funded or not.  It is volunteers, just like you as a Community Impact Panel member, listening to the agencies and collectively working together as a team to make informed decisions. Volunteers delve into the specifics, increasing their awareness and understanding of Charlotte County organizations, while creating a network of community support.  

Returning Community Impact Panel volunteer, Eve Sweeting states, “Volunteering on a Community Impact Panel highlights the thorough process that organizations go through to receive funding. It is an in depth look at how non-profits are making a difference in our community.”

Dr. Lori Carr has served for many years and states, “Being on the Community Impact Panel has opened my eyes to the large number of organizations that provide various resources to Charlotte County residents of all ages who are struggling financially, mentally or emotionally.”

Community Impact Panel volunteers play an integral role in this entire process. This elite group begins by attending training in April and then a full day in May serving with their fellow panel volunteers. Each panel will review at least two programs, analyzing grant requests, budgets, and data resulting in recommended funding for each application.

Charlotte County is full of caring citizens that want the best for our community. For those looking to see how and where they themselves can help, this is it. We invite you to come and be a part of making a lasting impactful change here locally.

To learn more or to sign up to volunteer for the 2024 Community Impact Panels, please email support@unitedwayccfl.org or call our office at 941-627-3539.  

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 director@unitedwayccfl.org.