The Metro Scene

River Region United Way 2018

Why We Have Supported River Region United Way
For So Many Years

|By Margaret Lowder|

As A founding members of The Tocqueville Society, Jimmy and I have had a ground floor view of the benefits that this group gives to the efforts of the River Region United Way. It is named after Alexis de Tocqueville who traveled from France to America in 1831. He wanted to observe life in our young nation, and soon recognized our American spirit of volunteerism for the common well-being of all people. The first society in this country was created in 1972, and in 1987, The Tocqueville Society of the River Region United Way was formed by individuals that met a leadership standard of giving. Jimmy can remember when Bucks Weil and Bobby Weil, Sr. came to him to discuss joining a charter group, and through their insight into the goals of philanthropy, it became clear that this group could greatly help the United Way and its affiliate agencies. A large debt is owed to the other charter members that initiated this society, and through the years, it has grown to over 165 members.

Everyone wants their city to be a thriving place to live, but in order for that to happen, the community needs to be viewed as a whole. We, above all, must remember that we are our brother’s keeper. Matthew 22: 37-39 tells us that the first great commandment is to love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Where there are needs, they must be met so that each person can have the help and advantages to not just survive, but to thrive in life. The United Way has addressed community needs for 95 years and currently supports more than 40 affiliate agencies that care for adults and children who need a hand up.

The two groups in particular that Jimmy and I have enjoyed working with over the years are the YMCA of Greater Montgomery and the Family Sunshine Center. Jimmy has served as a past President and Lifetime Director of the Montgomery YMCA Metro Board, and past Chairman of the Montgomery YMCA Endowment Foundation. The YMCA has been instrumental in shaping and giving focus to the lives of countless boys and girls, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. It is needed now more than ever as a safe place for the development of character and leadership.

The Lowder Family (l to r): Emily Lowder Wootten, Sam Wootten, Anna Lowder, Harvi Sahota, Katie Lowder, Josh Lowder, Margaret Lowder and Jimmy Lowder

The Family Sunshine Center captured my attention decades ago as such an important resource for anyone suffering from domestic abuse. These victims have a safe place to go with caring professionals to help them as they seek to escape their terrible situation. Several years ago, our daughter, Emily Wootten, and I helped create a new fundraiser for the Family Sunshine Center called Ranch Roundup. It has been a rewarding and fun event, held at Dr. Woody Bartlett’s beautiful cantina in Pike Road. Through his generosity and the support of many sponsors, funds were raised to aid many of the Family Sunshine Center’s programs. As a former board member and a current member of their Endowment Foundation board, I plan to continue supporting the incredible work they do for Montgomery County and six other surrounding counties.

With so many agencies funded by the United Way, anyone interested in volunteerism and philanthropy can find a worthy nonprofit to support. Jimmy and I can’t stress enough the importance of being involved in the River Region United Way through either financial gifts or personal involvement or both. It is humbling to be able to help others and to feel that you can be the difference in making someone else’s life a little better. One thing we do know for certain is you can trust that River Region United Way is a fiscally responsible organization that handles donations in a careful and thoughtful way. Their agencies are fully vetted and worthy of anyone’s time and money.

Often, as we age, our world begins to shrink inward, and that is something we need to be aware of and fight against. There are so many people around us that need a smile, a helping hand, or a listening ear. Endeavor to reach out and find ways to effect positive change in the world. Ninety-five years later, River Region United Way is doing just that – improving the quality of life for those it serves — and we are proud to support such a vital organization. A donation to River Region United Way is a sure and certain investment in our community.

As River Region United Way commemorates its 95th Anniversary, ALMetro360 is featuring a different “changemaker” each month for the remainder of 2018.

Photography by Nick Drollette

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