United Way, a different way to serve

For students interested in cultivating and improving Belton, the campus chapter of United Way of Central Texas may be what they are looking for.

Mary Beth Kelton, a graduate student studying for a master’s in business, is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the organization.

“We are a safety net for the local community,” she said. “United Way of Central Texas agencies provide aid in family, crisis, support, youth and specialized services.  Each year it funds 27 local social service agencies that provide over 200,000 services to our family, neighbors and friends.”

The agency focuses on long-term results rather than quick fixes.

A volunteer group participates in a low ropes course at the United Way agency Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children. They had just completed an outdoor cleanup minutes earlier. Courtesy Photo.

“We work together with the community to find lasting solutions to better people’s lives. We do that through promotion of education and common health,” Kelton said. “Without a good education, you can’t get a good job to help provide for your family. Without a good job, you don’t get good health care.”

Freshman psychology and Christian ministry major Krystal Draper is president of the group.

Upon arriving on campus, she was overcome by all of the ways to serve, but after searching, United Way seemed to be the perfect fit for her.

“When I got here … it was so overwhelming because there were so many different things to get plugged into,” Draper said.

What initially attracted her to the United Way group was its openness.

“I liked that it is just so up in the air, and we really are trusting God to move forward in it. It’s so new, and we want to do so much and have people that really like being involved. It really gives you a voice about what you want to do and how you want to serve,” she said.

Freshman international business major Seth Stephens operates as treasurer for the branch on campus.

The opportunity to not only build relationships with the younger children, but to also be a role model to them  appealed to Stephens.

“One of the things we are doing, is there is Wildcat mentor program in Temple where you go and be a mentor for a fifth-grade student. That really appealed to me because I have done that before,” he said.

A community­-wide coat drive will be held Nov. 18 at Bodega Bean from 7-10 p.m.

“Bring coats,” Stephens said.

Students interested in joining can contact Kelton at 254-778-8616.

Kelton said, “I felt it was very important for students here to get involved because there is already such a base for serving on campus. I wanted them to be involved with United Way. It is a great way to serve. The university already had a serving mentality, so together I think the possibilities are endless.”

For the United Way Facebook page, click here.

Author: The Bells Staff

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