Category: Success Stories

Highlighting local philanthropy: Shantel Tharps

At UWATX we know one single story can inspire thousands to give back, united our community and offer hope. This year, we’re telling stories of individuals who, at one point or another, received services/support from UWATX and now give back in dollars or time. Their stories prove that ANYONE can be a philanthropist. Most recently, I sat down with Shantel Tharps, a middle school teacher, whose story inspired me beyond belief.   When did you receive support from United Way and what did it help with? When I went off to college in the fall of 1990, I had twin daughters with me, no car and finances were tight. During my second semester my girls and I moved into family housing on my campus and United Way helped my find quality child care and even helped me pay for it. It made it possible for me to bring my daughters with me to college rather than leaving them with their grandparents.    Did that experience have a lasting impact on you and your family? If so, how? Yes it did! I was able to make it through those seasons of life with the help of United Way! The child care United Way helped us pay for was more of a learning center with high school mentors for the kids. I remember the ones that helped my girls really made them feel special and took an active part in all they did. We still have the little farewell apple she made them when they ‘graduated’ […]

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Making Austin greater – 2012 Employee Campaign

Leadership Makes Austin Greater Kevin, Webb Middle School student “I’m in the United Way Volunteer Project Leader program because I want to be a better person. When I grow up I want to be a professional soccer player but I worry I won’t ever be able to. Lots of times, money is tough even though my mom works really hard. She motivates me because she works so hard – she’s my mom and my dad at the same time. People from UWATX and my school who care about me say I should stay in school because even though I don’t need math to play soccer, I’m still going to need it at some point. Thanks to the UWATX program, I’ve already done some volunteer projects and it made me feel really good because I could talk to the people that couldn’t speak English so it made me proud to be bilingual. ”   Education Makes Austin Greater Beth, mother of 4-year-old Katelyn “My daughter is becoming more social and independent thanks to United Way’s Play To Learn project. A few months ago, my mother passed away and I was having a difficult time finding a caretaker for my 4-year-old daughter Katelyn until I discovered United Way’s Play To Learn project. Since I do not have Internet access, the library is a home away from home for us, so it was incredibly convenient to find this service there. And this was so much more than childcare, it also allowed my daughter […]

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