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    Relocating To Huntsville: The United Way of Madison County

    One of the questions many folks relocating to Huntsville, Alabama ask is this: What non-profits or service organizations are available to ensure that my quality of life in Huntsville, Alabama is the best it can be. In this interview Revolved Realty’s Tim Knox and United Way’s Community Impact Director Cathy Miller talk about many services available to newcomers and residents.

    United Way of Madison County
    Cathy Miller, Community Impact Director
    256-536-0743
    UWmadisoncounty.org
    Dial “211” for information

    The transcript of the video is below.

    Tim Knox:

    Hey guys, what’s going on? Tim Knox back in the Revolved Realty studio. I have a lovely guest today. Usually Thom Rigsby sits in this chair, Cathy and he’s not lovely.

    Cathy Miller:

    Well I love Tom. He is lovable.

    Tim Knox:

    He’s lovely on the inside. He is. Well, Tom and I did a video last week on… The FBI had released a video aimed at their internal employees getting them to move to Huntsville. And we just talked about how there may be some misconceptions about the South, understand their beliefs. So, and how Huntsville is not your A typical little Southern town. And we talked about all the opportunity here and all of the jobs and the businesses. And the one thing that we forgot, and you’ll have to forgive us my dear, is we didn’t really talk about the nonprofits that are here and the agencies that are designed solely to support and assist and offer comfort and aid and what have you. And you are the community impact director with United Way.

    Cathy Miller:

    That’s right.

    Tim Knox:

    Tell us a little bit about you and about the United way.

    Cathy Miller:

    So, my husband and I came here in 2004 like so many other people.

    Tim Knox:

    You’re an immigrant.

    Cathy Miller:

    For a job. And we came here to put our son through high school at Grissom. Graduated in law school at Alabama now, we’re very excited about that.

    Tim Knox:

    Always nice to have a lawyer in the family.

    Cathy Miller:

    It is. So we came here really with some of those same misconceptions that you and Thom you talked about.

    Tim Knox:

    Where’d you come from?

    Cathy Miller:

    we came from Atlanta. So this was small town, traffic? You don’t know what traffic is. But the great thing was that once we got here, just like everybody else that comes here, we really fell in love with Huntsville. We love it here. And so I’ve been the community impact director at United Way since 2014, so six years very soon in June. And as I was telling you before we went on the air, it is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Because I get to work for my local community and I love that.

    Cathy Miller:

    So when we were listening to, I was listening to your interview with Tom and you guys were having a great conversation and I started thinking about, so what is quality of life? And how do we define that? Obviously all the wonderful things that are shown in those two great videos, economic opportunities, job opportunities, beautiful parks and green space, lively downtown. We could just make a list that we could just run through in a half an hour, we would have no more time left. But what I found is that there is a business sector called the nonprofit sector in this community and so sometimes people just don’t think about, well what difference just [crosstalk 00:02:53].

    Tim Knox:

    I’m going to be honest with you. To me the United Way, it’s like an umbrella. You don’t think about your umbrella until it’s raining.

    Cathy Miller:

    That’s a good point.

    Tim Knox:

    And a lot of people, everyone is familiar with the United Way, the name. Talk a little bit about exactly what is the United Way?

    Cathy Miller:

    Well, the great news is that just as I said, this is local messaging with our bring everybody here in com. The same thing is true with United Ways. They’re about 1200 local United Ways across the U.S, but every one of us looks a little different because we’re driven by our own community. So we’re driven by the needs in our community. We may not stand up against an issue because it’s not an issue.

    Tim Knox:

    And United Way is not a political organization.

    Cathy Miller:

    No,

    Tim Knox:

    You get that stuff aside.

    Cathy Miller:

    Not at all. We are united. That’s what the word is.

    Tim Knox:

    You’re united, yeah.

    Cathy Miller:

    Room for everybody.

    Tim Knox:

    And which is a rare concept in politics, but we won’t go there. So continue on.

    Cathy Miller:

    Okay. So our mission is to identify needs in the community and to implement solutions to those needs and we have a very unique approach to do that. We raise dollars and grant dollars out to the community, to high quality nonprofits that are selected because they had been working on these needs or are working on the needs that are greatest in our community. We have volunteers. That’s another piece of our puzzle, is that volunteers come in. We are staff of only seven, having between a five and $6 million impact a year. You talk about economic impact, there you go. In our community, and so we’re driven by volunteers. We recruit volunteers for not only United Way and our agency partners, 27 of them right now, but we also recruit for any nonprofit in Madison County. So we have that piece and then our final piece is that expert nonprofit partners.

    Cathy Miller:

    So we are an added value to their work because we bring them in contact with other agencies. Maybe there’s a person that comes in and maybe they visit for the first time, may be Christmas charities. I’m just going to pick one. And after they take care of them, maybe getting help with school clothes or maybe they’ve had a fire and they needed furniture. That’s a great thing to do to go to Christmas charities, but maybe they need something else. Maybe they have an elder that lives with them and they don’t know what the resources are to take care of an elder in the community or where that elder can go when they have to go to work. And so United Way is there to say, let us help you find those resources. And that’s especially important for newcomers. You come, maybe you have a child has a disability, maybe you have just need for childcare or out of school time care.

    Cathy Miller:

    Because that’s what happens when you come if both of you are working. Or maybe you’re that spouse is coming and you’re fortunate enough that your husband makes or wife makes a lot of money and you don’t need to have two people working. So then what do you do? So United Way is really that connector. We love that we bring the community together and although we are what I call kissing cousins with those 27, then we also belong to the entire community. So we house a couple of things that we’ll talk about a little bit later.

    Tim Knox:

    The 27 nonprofit partners, you mentioned Christmas charities. What are a few of the others?

    Cathy Miller:

    Oh boy. I could run down the list.

    Tim Knox:

    Do you know more?.

    Cathy Miller:

    I think I do because that’s one of my primary roles is to interact with them. So our local affiliate of the Alabama Kidney Foundation is there, Alabama Non-Violent Offenders, which are giving folks that are coming out of prison, a chance to get past barriers and go on with their life and be productive and contribute. We are very proud to partner with Crisis Services of North Alabama and the Children’s Advocacy Center here, both working in a very difficult area but working on a lot of prevention. That’s the thing. We live in a fairly safe community and one of the reasons we do is not only our law enforcement and our communities and neighborhoods that work to help make us safe.

    Tim Knox:

    One of the things about, and you see this on the news all the time and in larger cities where the agencies are overtaxed or overburdened, a lot of things fall through the cracks.

    Cathy Miller:

    They do.

    Tim Knox:

    And they’re not proactive, they are reactive, meaning they react when something happens. And the one thing about, I think the Madison County United Way and all your partners is, you guys are doing things ahead of the game.

    Cathy Miller:

    Yes we are.

    Tim Knox:

    And we’re not waiting to happen.

    Cathy Miller:

    That’s right.

    Tim Knox:

    You want to talk about that looking down the road, especially as quickly as this area is growing,

    Cathy Miller:

    It’s a challenge.

    Tim Knox:

    I would assume so.

    Cathy Miller:

    Absolutely. So one of the things that we do in the midst of all the other things that we do year round, is about every three to five years we’ll step out of the whirlwind, put our finger on the pulse of the community. Nobody else does that in the community. And it’s our gift not only to our own work because we are very intentional strategic. We don’t just go, “Oh that looks like a good nonprofit. Let’s go throw some money over there.” Yeah. So we do that needs assessment and then we share it not only with our agency partners, it drives our grant process. So if there’s been a new need, like transportation is a great example, because it’s been rising and rising. It’s a challenge in our community for a lot of different folks.

    Cathy Miller:

    And so we’ve started to pay more attention to that and what can we do as we’re moving in, city of Huntsville and the city of Madison and the County are all working on that issue too. Are there some gaps that we can step in and fill? And so that’s a good example of how proactive we are and we’re talking to each other all the time. I was laughing the other day when I talked to somebody. We are definitely a grantor. We do grant directly about 1.2 million a year out into-

    Tim Knox:

    That you grant to other agencies?

    Cathy Miller:

    To those 27. But we also are in a situation where we will help them find other grants because we know they’re not, they shouldn’t be solely dependent on one entity for money. We help them find volunteers, we help them find other resources. So we’re really putting our arms around those 27 all the time.

    Tim Knox:

    I don’t think people… Until you work for a nonprofit and I have, you don’t realize how, number one, how hard it is to complete your mission, but number two, how to find the funds to keep that mission going.

    Cathy Miller:

    Exactly.

    Tim Knox:

    You’re always fundraising?

    Cathy Miller:

    Well, we are primarily fundraising in the last quarter of the year.

    Tim Knox:

    Are you subsidized it all by the government?

    Cathy Miller:

    Not at all. No, we are [crosstalk 00:09:26].

    Tim Knox:

    You have that proud look on your face.

    Cathy Miller:

    A lot of people ask us that, Tim, and when they hear the name United Way because they know we are a part of a larger network that that branding comes from. They tend to believe that we just have a vault in the back that we can just roll out some dollars. Wouldn’t it be wonderful?

    Tim Knox:

    Yes.

    Cathy Miller:

    Claudia and I, Claudia Bucher, our resource development director and I sat down a couple of years ago and we looked at the number of employed people, we need to redo this study, but couple of years ago number of employed people in Madison County, Alabama, if everybody gave only one hour’s pay per month, not very much. That’s a meal or a cup of coffee, we could raise $62 million for our community. That’s pretty amazing. Then many more nonprofits could not have to spend so much time struggling for funds and competing for funds and they could do more work and more service and more help. And isn’t that a lovely journey?

    Tim Knox:

    It is and I’ve always… Because I’m an old entrepreneur, been here forever, been in business and I’ve worked with a lot of nonprofits and it’s kind of a shame because you do see some that just kind of go by the wayside simply because they can’t raise the funds to do their charter. So the United Way is very much relying on grants, donations, contributions from other folks. And explain really quickly, how do you work with these 27 partners because, you’re the big dog.

    Cathy Miller:

    No.

    Tim Knox:

    I’m a dog fan.

    Cathy Miller:

    Well, one of the dogs.

    Tim Knox:

    But you’re one of the big dogs. I mean, you’re well known, you’re tied in, your history, your body of work is unmatched. So these 27 nonprofits centers, they come to rely on you to get them to the point where you kick them out of the nest and you support them and you help them with grants. Is that the relationship and then you all work together? Because you’re partners.

    Cathy Miller:

    Yes, we are partners and that’s the thing that’s different. We’re not the grantor that simply writes a cheque, lets you work for a year and comes back and puts our thumb on you and guys, “What’d you do?” We are in there with them all the time. So for instance, we have a United Way Executive Directors Association. Every one of those agencies has the opportunity to come and sit in a room together, network and learn from each other on a monthly basis. Get continuing ed, all those kinds of things. And so we have a range. We have some very young agencies. The community free dental clinic is a fairly young agency within our portfolio. We have some old gold standards, just folks that have been working. CASA Madison County is a great example of that.

    Tim Knox:

    Yeah, been here a long time.

    Cathy Miller:

    Been here a long time. We’ve been here 77 years. And so in 1943 when some business leaders said, “We’ve got widows, we’ve got people who have family deployed who needs some extra, just a hand up, not a handout, but a hand up. We want to come together.” And so they created something called the Community Chest that later became the United way. And so we’ve got that lovely history. $200 million, Tim, during those 77 years invested in our community and those dollars did not go wasted. Those dollars have changed lives. Just hundreds of thousands of people are where they are today. And you and I are not very far. None of us is, from some kind of catastrophe that’s going to throw us for a loop.

    Tim Knox:

    I know. It’s real easy, especially here. It’s really easy to get comfy and you know, “Hey, I’ve got a great gig. I’ve got a good job, I’ve got a good paycheck, I’ve got a house, I’ve got a car. Most people, I think the statistics tell us that most people are two to three months away from bankruptcy if their income ceased.

    Cathy Miller:

    Absolutely.

    Tim Knox:

    And so you may not need these services today but you might tomorrow.

    Cathy Miller:

    Right. And we love, because I study this as the community impact director, when we look across those 27 agencies we see that we’re doing about… 70% of our work is focused on financially under resource people, trying to create that pathway so they can move out of that crisis and maybe even get to the point someday where they can stand on their own two feet and not need anything from anybody. And we celebrate every one of those. But we also have about 30% that’s for you or me. If we are diagnosed with a new chronic disease and we don’t know what the resources outside of our physician are, we can help you find that through our 211 call center where all of the resources are listed.

    Tim Knox:

    Let’s talk about that. What is 211?

    Cathy Miller:

    So 211 is a network that’s part of a national network of call centers and those centers are resource and referral hotlines. So if somebody new moves in to the community or somebody who’s been here a long time, and just has something arise that they’ve never had to deal with and they can’t deal with it within their own resources on their own, then they can call those three numbers, 211 and they get a call specialist who has a huge database of all the services in the community and there’s another one of those community wide reaches that United Way has, and so people, they’re doing nonprofit work need to make sure their services are in there so we can help folks find them. Typically, people will Google or Facebook friends or call at least six or seven agencies if they’re just blindly looking for help and this way you call one and they know if a resource to help you with whatever the issue is.

    Cathy Miller:

    And then they can give you the phone number, a way to connect with them, what you’ll need in terms of intake. If you have to go into the agency or call them, to go through the procedure of being approved or whether you’re eligible, they’ll walk all of you through that. Anybody that calls through that.

    Tim Knox:

    That is awesome.

    Cathy Miller:

    It is wonderful. And so, one of the needs assessment recommendations from our community was we need to market 211.

    Tim Knox:

    You do. Honestly, I haven’t heard of that.

    Cathy Miller:

    So thank you for that opportunity.

    Tim Knox:

    I’m going to go call 211.

    Cathy Miller:

    You should. Try it out.

    Tim Knox:

    Because I need all the help I can get.

    Cathy Miller:

    So here’s what they do. They will… You call and they’ll say what is your zip code? And we love that because that means they’re going to talk to you about resources that are close to you instead of somewhere else.

    Tim Knox:

    Is this a national thing, the 211?

    Cathy Miller:

    It is.

    Tim Knox:

    Okay.

    Cathy Miller:

    94% of the country’s covered with 211. Anybody can call on landline or sale. And in Alabama we’re on the top, which is really great. 100% of Alabama is covered with 211. So we have about 15 call centers and they all start network together so that if there’s a power outage, if there’s a… When the tornadoes hit us in 2011 temporarily, we had to flip a switch to get those calls to go other places in the state that could still access the statewide database but so that people wouldn’t be calling and not get help. Especially in those times of disaster.

    Tim Knox:

    You talked a little bit about, out of the 27 partners, 70 somehow percent of the assistance needed is financial. What else… Is there a big need for, like mental health, drugs, I mean the things that kind of, I guess you could say plague our society, are those big hot keys for these organizations because to me that seems like that’s where folks really need support.

    Cathy Miller:

    Absolutely. And we do. We have some people working directly in that area. Family services center has a wonderful counseling program that has sliding scale fees for people that may not be able to afford private care or private counseling.

    Tim Knox:

    Because it can be really expensive.

    Cathy Miller:

    It can, very much and bring up, pretty quickly or you can go beyond. You really need beyond what your insurance company will cover. So we’ve got those kinds of things we’ve got, substance abuse often goes right along with mental illness. We have a lovely partner in Pathfinder that’s a residential drug rehab home for men that are recovering. And we always laugh and say that Russell keeps the folks so busy over there, they can’t get back into those old habits. And that’s one of the reasons that they’re successful.

    Tim Knox:

    Busy hands.

    Cathy Miller:

    Absolutely. And then we do a lot of prevention on mental health and just on building for a successful life through the big block of agencies we work with that help us with our out of school time work. So names that lots of people know, but they may not know that they’re part of United Way. Big Brothers, Big Sisters of North Alabama, the Boys and Girls clubs, Village OF Promise is another partner of ours in that area. The Heart of the Valley preschools? We spend some money there because we know that start in the early time is really a good indicator for… If we can give stability, then we can lessen the likelihood that those mental health issues will come up.

    Tim Knox:

    So you’re really covering folks cradle to grave.

    Cathy Miller:

    Absolutely. We are.

    Tim Knox:

    Let’s talk a little bit about all of these folks that are going to be relocating. The FBI’s bringing in folks. I mean, within a few years we’re going to be the largest city in the state. The statistics are just really mind blowing and the one thing that Thom and I did not talk about was, those folks moving here, now granted, most of those folks are going to have good, high paying jobs there but the resources, for example, if they’ve got an elderly parent, if they’ve got a child maybe with special needs, that sort of thing. Talk a little bit about all of this stuff or some of the highlights of the United Way in these 27 partners that these folks might take advantage of. Or they might even need help with.

    Cathy Miller:

    Okay. So in addition to CASA, which that’s one of the experts on our aging in the community, I’m really proud of the fact that they… When they put their arms around somebody, they don’t really let go of them until they’re gone. It’s one of those that you stay with them a long time and when people come to-

    Tim Knox:

    Which is a tough thing to do.

    Cathy Miller:

    It is. But sometimes CASA will have people come maybe just because they’ve moved into a facility and all of a sudden that elder cannot manage steps anymore. And so one of the services they provide is building with volunteers, building ramps, wheelchair ramps for individuals. Also, there is a lovely program at United Cerebral Palsy, which is another partner of ours called Alabama respite. And they actually manage the program for the whole state. But our dollars are always dedicated to Madison County. And that’s a place to give caregivers a break whenever they… Because-

    Tim Knox:

    Because that is exhausting.

    Cathy Miller:

    Oh it’s huge. And so we have those kinds of things. Of course, Manna House serves all ages in terms of just that basic, if you run out of money for food. We had some people come and stand in line for the first time ever at Manna House when the furlough hit last January, because they had spent their savings of a month or so that they had and they went furlough for three months. And some of them that were in the private sector supporting the furlough fed employees didn’t ever get paid.

    Cathy Miller:

    And so we had new people go there. So we’ve really got that safety net of basic needs and portable housing. There’s an affordable housing program at family services. We have a beautiful portfolio and they really have to do a lot of work to become a United Way partner. We always tell people it’s kind of like the good housekeeping seal of approval. Because we are volunteers and we spend, that’s a big part… About 50% of my job is that regulatory accountability for our donors. So we always want folks to know. So we think about the elderly, then you also mentioned disabled. So the one of the leading Arc, A-R-Cs, in the state is right here in Madison County, Alabama, the Arc of Madison County, and they work with individuals that have intellectual disabilities and an IQ of 70 or below. And then we also partner with Phoenix who works with people above that IQ and also people with physical disabilities.

    Cathy Miller:

    They are really close partners with the rehab department. Get referrals from there all the time. But they’re helping those folks find gainful employment, finding a way to contribute instead of sitting at home and having older parents worry about what’s going to happen to them when I’m gone. We have, as I said, we’ve got preschool work going on. We’re really proud that both the Village of Promise and the Heart of the Valley Y are a part of the state first class grant system, very high quality work. I tell people, if you want good childcare, go to the Y and go to Village a Promise. And then you get that lovely diversity experience with your children that you might not get if you sent them to a private school. So that’s another real benefit.

    Tim Knox:

    I know one of the things that I hear a lot, and I think it’s just because of my age group, I’m getting old. Getting older and a lot of my friends, acquaintances have older parents who they are now taken care of. And it’s really hard to be a caregiver of an elderly person when everything is working. You know what I mean?

    Cathy Miller:

    Mm-hmm.

    Tim Knox:

    But when things start not to work either mentally or physically, trying to maintain a normal life and do that, is just incredibly exhausting.

    Cathy Miller:

    It is.

    Tim Knox:

    I mean it really can just tax you to death. So an organization like CASA could step in, do some helping there, that sort of thing, make it a little bit easier.

    Cathy Miller:

    So the other thing that they will do, which we love, is that the very first thing they do when somebody inquires with them, is they’ll go do a home visit. A safety check in which they all walk in, make sure that there aren’t rugs on the floor. You and I is able bodied people may not think about all the safety concerns that there may need to be in the home. Make sure their pills are in a way that they’re not going to overdose. Those kinds of things. Even through 211 you can find day facilities that are doing wonderful senior centers. We have several across the County playing that kind of role. And so there really is a lot… And we have an aging population. We should be, according to population estimates, we could be as much as 25% senior citizens by 2040 in this community. So the more we can help people in their health as well as in their support system, then we’re all going to age better. And that’s going to be a good thing because we are going to live longer. So there’s that quality of life question again. And also-

    Tim Knox:

    You don’t live longer, just feels like it. You know what I mean?

    Cathy Miller:

    Absolutely. And so I’m going to throw in the volunteer center there, which you wouldn’t really think of, but many seniors, the number one indicator that research tells us that helps you or causes you to decline quickly is social isolation. And so if you’ve got children you’re living with and they are at work all day and the children at school all day, then you’re isolated. And we see that so much. But if people volunteer and we have a lot of very able people, we had a lady… I love this, couple of years ago we were stuffing Christmas cards at United Way. We had lady come in a Walker, she could sit down and stuff cards, so she came. And that’s the great thing about the volunteer center. We house it not only for ourselves and our partners, but for the entire nonprofit community. Technology is a piece of our lives now. So it’s an online system that allows any agency to post needs that they have. So we have 190 already posting on there, besides United Way.

    Tim Knox:

    Let’s talk a little bit about the volunteerism aspect because especially the folks that are here now and the ones that are moving in, if they do have the time and the inclination to volunteer, what volunteer opportunities are there?

    Cathy Miller:

    Oh wow.

    Tim Knox:

    I bet there’s a bunch.

    Cathy Miller:

    There is. Out of the 190 I couldn’t tell you all of them at the time we have, but I will mention a few. United Way has a wonderful program that we currently have about 60 people. I will take as many people as will come, called our Community Impact Volunteers. And they, this time of season, we only do our grant work about every three years. So we have a pool of about 40 volunteers that come and work through that process with us. They’ll ask good questions, they’ll review the grant applications, they’ll visit the agencies and see their work. They do some of the hardest work we ask any volunteer to do. But if somebody is not at that stage in life where they can commit that amount of time, then maybe they volunteer for something once a year and we have something coming up on March 19th called, be a 211 ambassador.

    Cathy Miller:

    And we talked earlier about what 211 is, we just want to educate the community and then say, “Just go share where you live, work and play.” If you’re like me, you want to tell everybody on the planet about it. But there are other people that have a smaller circle or maybe aren’t quite as gregarious as I, and so they can just tell their church group or their neighbor or the man or woman that walks up to him on the street and says, “I need help.” They can all be ambassador. So we’re doing that training on the 19th at United Way from 3:30 to 4:30 and that’s on the volunteer center. So there are event supports. A lot of times people like to get a free ticket for an event and go and help out at panoply or one of those other big events that happens in the community, they can tap into that usually through the volunteer center.

    Tim Knox:

    Okay, so a lot of opportunities to volunteer.

    Cathy Miller:

    Oh yeah, a lot.

    Tim Knox:

    Last thing, tell me about the community-wide needs assessment.

    Cathy Miller:

    Okay. I brought a beautiful copy to show you guys. There you go.

    Tim Knox:

    Okay. I love that.

    Cathy Miller:

    And I’m going to… This is the executive summary, but it’s available on United Way’s website and that’s uwmadisoncounty.org and we actually have a banner that says read more and you can get right to the actual report. And what it does is it helps us put that finger on the pulse of our community, because we would be irresponsible with donor dollars if we just randomly picked or had a popularity contest about who’s the flashiest, newest nonprofit in the community. That’s a dangerous thing. And so we stand right there with the donor to say we vet these agencies and we spend time with them year round so that we really can trust them. And so how do we align those agencies? Or how do we find the agencies to align with what those greatest needs are? So that’s a big reason we do it. And then we share it widely because there’s a church group looking for what they should be doing, what’s their next mission they want to take on or an individual looking to volunteer. If they want to do something meaningful, this needs assessment gives them that piece.

    Tim Knox:

    Okay. And they can download this on the website.

    Cathy Miller:

    They can.

    Tim Knox:

    And you brought me a gift.

    Cathy Miller:

    I did.

    Tim Knox:

    You want to tell me about this gift?

    Cathy Miller:

    Yes. So United Way has a lovely, generous group of merchants that’s given us some discounts. And so we have worked with somebody, so that’s not really very much of a cost for us to do. But it could save you, I think if you used every coupon on it, you’d probably save about $140.

    Tim Knox:

    Is that right?

    Cathy Miller:

    So it’s just our way of saying thank you. We often give it to people that have donated with us because some people may know and if they don’t, we want to make sure if you’re coming in to work for a company and they do not run what we call an employee giving campaign for United Way, call us because we can help make that happen. That’s how we keep from competing with everyday agencies, whether they’re inner family or not. Trying to find those extra dollars to keep their programs running because we don’t do big flashy events. We raise money primarily through that and through private gifts and sponsorship contributions that we get from the corporate community.

    Cathy Miller:

    But really as I mentioned earlier, it’s so simple and if everybody does what they can do, I have a great story about that if you had a second. So we do free tax assistance for low to middle income people this time here. IRS certified volunteers come and work with us and provide… We ended up putting about $3 million back in the local economy last year because of program. So we had a couple who actually came after the 2011 storms and they’ve continued to come back and let us do their taxes. And so the last couple of years after they got their refund, they came back to our office and they brought us a gift.

    Tim Knox:

    Oh that’s nice.

    Cathy Miller:

    Isn’t that… That’s like what goes around, comes around. We all are in it together to help take care of one another. And that really is what United Way’s all about.

    Tim Knox:

    Well good. And we’ll end there.

    Cathy Miller:

    Yay.

    Tim Knox:

    I do appreciate you coming in and again, apologies for… When Tom and I get to talking, we leave off half the stuff.

    Cathy Miller:

    That’s okay.

    Tim Knox:

    But I’m glad that you could come in. If folks are interested in learning more, where do they go? Who do they call?

    Cathy Miller:

    Okay. They can call us at 256536-0745 if they need to tap into that need, they call 211 and they can visit our website. And again, that’s uwmadisoncounty.org and we love that every social media channel we are on is at UW Madison County. So those two things, the website and the social media really easy and we’re most active on Facebook. So we encourage folks to go and like our Facebook page. If you’re not here yet and you’re coming and you happen to see this, please go because that’s a great way to see what’s going on in the community and get tapped in and we think that that is a secret of the nonprofit sector. That when we get people tapped into community and they found whatever that is, this meaningful for them as a way to contribute. If it’s advocacy, if it’s volunteering, if it’s donating, maybe it’s all three of them. We love those folks [crosstalk 00:31:19] and they can find a home at United Way of Madison County.

    Tim Knox:

    Well, good deal. Cathy Miller, community impact director. You always do such a good job.

    Cathy Miller:

    Thank you.

    Tim Knox:

    It’s good to see you here. Make me smile a lot when I see you.

    Cathy Miller:

    Thank you, I appreciate that.

    Tim Knox:

    See you’ve done your part and today.

    Cathy Miller:

    That’s right.

    Tim Knox:

    Amazing. All right, we’ll put links to everything down below. Cathy, this is great. If we can ever do anything for you, let us know.

    Cathy Miller:

    Oh sure.

    Tim Knox:

    All right?

    Cathy Miller:

    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    Tim Knox:

    All right, take care.