Who are You?

Social Connection Provides a Healthy Community

By Angie Matthiessen, Executive Director

AUOne of the things that I truly enjoy about my job with United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) is meeting people. I’m in my element when I can sit and get to know a person.  It’s fun to learn their stories, history, family and how they came to Florida.  Specifically, I find it interesting how people end up in our little community. Having a coffee with a local business, chatting with volunteers in the office, or lunch with a colleague inspires me to no end. 

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, evidence strongly shows that many adults aged 50 and older are socially isolated or lonely in ways that put their health at risk or worse, premature death from various causes.  The findings from the Consensus Study Report, National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine over four decades of research has demonstrated the profound impact of social connection on longevity.  This underscores the critical importance of fostering and maintaining strong social relationships for overall well-being.

Connection strengthens the social infrastructure in our communities.  We are thankful to the wonderful people that have been connecting with us as they are offering meaningful help to many in Charlotte County including children and seniors.  UWCC has been fortunate to work with many amazing volunteers. Being a resource for this kind of connection to our community, over the past year, UWCC was able to mobilize 81 volunteers across several programs serving needs across the board.

There is much to share with you in the coming months and we want to make sure we can share with you opportunities to connect. Let me ask you this. What brings you to Charlotte County? Are you working, seasonal, retired, already volunteering? Often when we are out in the community, someone will share their previous experience with a local United Way. We want to know you also.

Are you ready to get involved? Our goal is to always make your volunteer experience exceptional. An example of an upcoming event is a senior social and there are more events to come. The Summer Social “Beat the Heat” from 11-1 pm on July 26 will be held in Port Charlotte. We invite you to come check it out or better yet, help us and volunteer. 

There is much to be done and serving the community is a great place to begin.  Social connection will benefit you and the organization you serve.  Your health and livelihood will thank you for it. If you would like to connect, come by our office for a coffee.  I would love that also.

Please follow the link below to fill out a no-obligation “Who are You” survey? For more information about upcoming volunteer opportunities or Summer Social, call 941-627-3539 or visit: unitedwayccfl.org/socialconnection

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.