United Way’s Emerging Leaders Have a Canned-Do Attitude
This blog post was written by Maurice Roper, a United Way Emerging Leaders 365 committee member.
United Way of King County kicked off its first Happy Hour & Hellos event in over two years at Métier Brewing Company’s new Cherry Street location on September 29. About 45 people gathered at the Microsoft-sponsored event to help combat food insecurity in the region by bringing canned items for donating to a local food bank.
For some guests, it was the first time stepping out since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As guests began to network with each other and bond over a delightful brew and freshly baked cuisine from Umami Kushi, many saw the event as both a way of meeting new people and discovering ways to get more involved in the community. Happy Hour & Hellos offered the perfect opportunity for both.
“It’s great to be out again since the pandemic and this is the perfect venue,” said attendee Tina Vivio.
Guest speakers included Michele Merriweather from Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Rodney Hines of Métier Brewing Company, Erica Dzangare of United Way’s food insecurity program and me, Maurice Roper, a United Way Emerging Leaders 365 committee member.
Guests learned how our region is providing the food people need above and beyond donating to food banks: United Way’s home grocery program has delivered more than 400,000 meals to families in need via a partnership with DoorDash. As they discovered the importance of culturally relevant food, guests leaned into the mission and chose to give during the night’s festivities—donating $3,140 dollars to help families experiencing food insecurity.
Emerging Leaders 365 is a network of more than 10,000 young professionals striving to create more racially just communities where all people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable. They do this giving $365 a year (or a dollar a day) as well as participating in monthly volunteer projects with local non-profits and beneficiaries of United Way.
Happy Hour and Hellos help spotlight United Way’s giving communities, which offer donors opportunities for you to connect with other like-minded people and learn about the issues facing our community. Giving communities include Emerging Leaders 365, a network of more than 10,000 young professionals striving to create more racially just communities where all people have homes, students graduate and families are financially stable. They do this giving $365 a year (or a dollar a day) as well as participating in monthly volunteer projects with local non-profits and beneficiaries of United Way.
This group leans into opportunities to advance racial equity through difficult conversations and, of course, networking during events like Happy Hour & Hellos.
“I am starting to feel [engaged], so let me know if there is any way that I can help,” said attendee Abel Pacheco.
While Emerging Leaders 365 offers a network for young professionals, United Way is also home to Change Makers, who were present at Métier Brewing Company. This group of professionals are more distinguished in their careers and pledge to give $100 a month for a year to create the change that our communities need.
Personally, I want to get involved and help out in any way that I can! When I learned about the tangible activities that Emerging Leaders 365 participate in monthly, I knew I could also have an impact!
Métier Brewing company was the first of four Happy Hour & Hello events planned throughout the year. To stay involved sign up for the Emerging Leaders 365 newsletter and find your next event here.