Women United educates, engages, and empowers women in Greater Austin. Each month we will spotlight and bring you a closer look into the lives of one of your fellow Women United Members. We are proud to celebrate women as philanthropic leaders and are honored to have so many amazing women in our community.
Q&A with Barbara Caraway | Texas Mutual Insurance Company
What do you love about Austin?
I moved to Austin from Lubbock in 2005. I love the diversity of Austin and although it is a large city, the people and vibe of the city is that of a smaller community. I marvel at the beauty of Central Texas and the vast terrain. My favorite places to take visitors are on a drive down 360 to Mount Bonnell, Wimberley and The Saxon Pub on Lamar. Some dear friends introduced us to great live music there. I also enjoyed going to Graffiti Park at Castle Hill. Austin is home to some of the most creative and talented people.
How did you become involved with United Way for Greater Austin?
On a personal level, both of my children went to the Boys and Girls Club of Lubbock. The Boys and Girls Club had a great after school program they both loved going to. They also participated in their basketball program. When I came to Texas Mutual in 1995 they were a huge supporter of United Way and I thought, here is an opportunity to give back. I am entering a new stage of life and have felt a desire to do more – to be more involved.
The Chair of our United Way campaign at Texas Mutual asked me if I would be interested in learning the role, with the goal of being the chair within the next year. I am looking forward to working closely with our partners at United Way.
Recently, I volunteered to review proposals for the All Together ATX Fund. I learned so much through that experience about nonprofit organizations, and really felt first-hand the needs of our community. As an individual, it seems so overwhelming; however, with all of us, we can accomplish so much. Every little bit of our time and financial contributions makes a difference in so many lives.
How did you become involved with Women United?
I do not recall the year I became a member. I was inspired to be a part of a community filled with strong, confident, and intelligent women supporting the youngest in our community, as well as lifting each other up.
What would you tell someone who was considering joining Women United?
Why wait? The financial donations support the children in our community who experience the most need. It provides the opportunity to have high-quality early education that will help set them up for success. Beyond supporting early education, Women United is a great opportunity to learn from each other as well as network with business and community leaders you may not otherwise get the chance to meet. I guarantee you will be moved by the stories you hear and energized by the women you meet.
Why is early childhood education important to you?
It’s like building a home. You have to start with a solid foundation. Early childhood education goes beyond the basic skills of learning, it’s about developing problem-solving and social skills. Knowledge is empowering, and empowerment builds confidence. Early childhood education begins the development of these skills that contribute to life skills every child needs and is entitled to.
Thank you, Barbara, for your dedication and support to the early childhood community. You and passionate community members like you make the work we do possible
“Barbara has been an enthusiastic member of Women United for many years, generously increasing her investment over time in United Way’s mission. Barbara’s personal passion for supporting early childhood education is evident when you talk with her. We are thrilled to put a spotlight not only on her personal generosity but also to highlight the many longtime Women United members who are her colleagues at Texas Mutual.”
-Michele Scherz, Sr. Director of Donor Relations
United Way for Greater Austin