Community Spotlight: Marissa Christie with the United Way of Bucks County
413 Hood Blvd.
Fairless Hills, PA 19030
What are people saying about United Way Bucks County?
Andrew Tomasetti: 0:00
Hello, and welcome to today's community spotlight where I interviewed small businesses and community leaders that I know and trust and introduce them to you. Today I'm joined with Marissa.
Marissa Christie: 0:11
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
Andrew Tomasetti: 0:13
Absolutely. So for our viewers out there who may not be familiar with what the United Way is, or does, can you tell them a little bit about it?
Marissa Christie: 0:23
Sure. I mean, that's a really common question. Some folks have heard the name United Way. But it's important to note that United Way also, it's a really long standing organization, every United Way in every community is a little bit different. We're all independent nonprofits, that serve our community. What we have in common is that we really focus on access to quality education, on financial stability, and on the good health of our communities. But the way we get there is a little bit different depending on what community needs to look like.
Andrew Tomasetti: 1:00
And what are some of the things that you focus on with the Bucks County United Way?
Marissa Christie: 1:06
That's a great question. We really focus on access to high quality early childhood education. Particularly, we find that pre K education and childcare can often be working families single largest expense, it's incredibly expensive, but it's really important because without that foundation, kids don't enter kindergarten ready to learn. For us, we focus on the fight against hunger, and we always put healthy food first in that fight. We look for coordinated ways to address and to reduce homelessness countywide. So options for housing stability, and affordable housing. And we really focus on family stability. So from our perspective, when we can help our friends and our neighbors thrive, then our entire community is healthier and more prosperous and better off.
Andrew Tomasetti: 2:05
So if someone needs your help, to you find that they typically walk in or is it a referral to people, or maybe sometimes they have reservations about seeking help.
Marissa Christie: 2:20
I think it's fair to say that many folks do have reservations about seeking help. And if I have one piece of advice gets always ask as soon as you think you might need help. Because sometimes there's a really high price to delaying assistance. So in some cases, it's much easier for us to provide assistance. You know, before it's an actual crisis or a catastrophe.
In terms of how folks find us, it really depends on the service that they're seeking. Many people come to us through our website. So if you go to UWbucks, so that's United UW in United Way bucks, B U C, K dot org, and you're a Bucks County resident, you can take a look at our Get Help section and you'll see all of the different programs that we run in Bucks County. So you can apply for assistance or ask for help through our website, you can call us if you need help.
And if you're not sure what kind of help you need, you can also call a number called 211. It's just like it sounds to one one, you can call 24/7, 365. It's a lifeline. And it's information and referral. So if you're not even sure where to start, but you're worried about something, 211 is a really good first place to try. It's anonymous, you can just share what kind of assistance you're looking for, and they'll guide you in the right place.
Andrew Tomasetti: 3:55
Awesome. So that sounds like a really incredible organization. And I really like how each one is independent. So you're really part of the community. Now if someone wants to help, support you, or volunteer, what's the best way they can do that?
Marissa Christie: 4:12
You know, we are always looking for volunteers always. Although there are many ways to get involved in volunteer. I want to just point out that one of the most rewarding personal volunteer experiences I've had is at our own Help Center. It's a healthy eating and living partnership in Lower Bucks County. Imagine like a big store, a general store with everything people could need. Everything is brand new, but there's no register, because it's always free to folks who need assistance.
But when you're running that kind of a program, essentially a shop. We need a lot of assistance from volunteers. We need folks to come down and help us unpack things and sort merchandise and make sure our shoppers know where to go. Once they enter. There's a lot of opportunities no matter what your, you know, sort of physical strengths are no matter what your personal strengths are, we have a place for you as a volunteer here. And it's a wonderful way to get involved.
For folks who want to help in other ways. You know, we always are looking for people who want to improve lives in our communities through donations. Monetary donations mean a great deal. And that's what keeps us going. But you can also donate things like, you know, food, brand new items, school supplies, throughout the year through various programs and to our Help Center.
Andrew Tomasetti: 5:39
Awesome. And if people want to contact you directly, Marissa, what's the best way to reach you?
Marissa Christie: 5:45
Usually, the best way to get in touch with us is to just go through our website, you can find all of our key staff there. So no matter what it is you're looking to do, just take a look and connect with the correct with the right staff member, you can always email me directly at email@example.com. And I can get you to the right place. But if you feel like you're ready to really do some good in our community, I promise you, we have the path for you to do that.
Andrew Tomasetti: 6:14
Awesome. Thank you so much. This has been another community spotlight where I interview small businesses and community leaders that I know and trust and introduce them to you. Thanks for joining us.
Marissa Christie: 6:25
Thank you. Appreciate it.
Andrew Tomasetti: 6:27