Community members unite to benefit local charity

Although originating in Virginia, United Way has grown to have over 1,200 local offices across the country, including the Brazos Valley. Brazos Valley has its own local office and has created many opportunities for youth to get involved and learn how to be an active member in the community.

The Brazos Valley Youth Leadership Cabinet for United Way sponsors many unique events in coordination with Bryan High in order to help raise funds for the community such as Over the Edge.

“Over the Edge focused on raising money for United Way and in turn our community,” French teacher Tara Bailey said. “Together, as a school, we ended up raising just over $1,000 by the end of the event.”

Over the Edge offered the first 65 people who raised $650 the chance to rappel off the top of the Hilton, and gathered many participants among the Bryan High faculty and student body, including Bailey.

“We expanded it to all of Bryan High and had an advisory class competition in which the winning class with the most money raised would receive a pizza party,” Bailey said. “ Many classes raised money, but Mrs. Allen’s class was the ultimate winner, raising over $100.”

Another successful event sponsored by United Way each year is “United We Serve”, which collaborated with local Double Dave’s Pizzaworks locations to raise money.

“One of my students asked me to be a server at Double Dave’s, and I was happy to help,” choir director Mark Medlock said. “I would recommend this to someone else because serving others is a great way to make a difference in your community.”

Many of The Brazos Valley Youth Leadership Cabinet for United Way are students at Bryan High who recognize the importance of non-profit organizations.

“Especially now, a lot of our social services are not up to par, and a lot of people have to rely on organizations like United Way to seek assistance.” senior Logan Stephenson said. “We can all come together and use our minds to help the community.”

The Brazos Valley chapter of United Way provides many opportunities for students and other young citizens to get involved.

“We are involved in a lot of activities,” said junior Claire Beesaw. “We have the United Day of Caring, which we just did a little while back where we go out into the community and help different non-profits, and we also have a Youth Leadership day that is open to anyone interested in learning more about United Way.”

Participating in United Way events has a rewarding effect on those involved and creates positive memories for members.

“I really enjoy the end-of-the-year check presentation when we take all of our funds and decided where to distribute them,” Stephenson said. “We distribute them to the individual organizations in town and I think that’s a really great and fulfilling thing to experience.”

The Brazos Valley Youth Leadership Cabinet for United Way is always accepting new members who want to help positively impacting our community through all kinds of acts.

“All contributions and donations make a real difference in the lives of those around us,” Bailey said. “I feel it is so important to help others and when you have the opportunity do something to make a difference in someone’s life – no matter the size – you should take it.”