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I'll Be Back!

Today is my last day at United Way…and it’s a very sad day. Working at United Way has been the most rewarding and the best learning experience I have had. I have traveled to over 20 countries in my life, but I learned more things at United Way in the past 8 months than I have ever learned elsewhere.

Since the first week of working here, I knew that this was going to be a special and the perfect experience for me. Who else will treat you to a 3-hour lunch at the Melting Pot for holiday staff lunch on their first week? Or teach you how to ride a Segway for the Dogwood Festival? Or spend a beautiful day out at Keswick riding in golf carts and eating succulent meals (thanks Keswick Hall!)? These are only a few of the wonderful things United Way has allowed me to experience during my short time here.

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But, besides all the perks of working here, I have been truly inspired by the staff at United Way. They work extremely hard every day to make our community a better place. Not only do they work hard, but each and every one of them has such strong passion and commitment, that it is not simply a job for them. The staff at United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area is the perfect example of people who LIVE UNITED.


It has been a humbling experience and I hope that some day I will be as successful and charitable as the wonderful staff. Thank you for teaching me how to LIVE UNITED and I will be back in 3 years!

Reimi Okuyama has been our AmeriCorps volunteer since November, 2008, and is leaving now to attend law school in Florida. Her task was to coordinate the efforts of the Thomas Jefferson Area Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition. Because of Reimi’s efforts, the Coalition increased the number of low and moderate income people receiving free tax preparation from 240 in 2008 to 807 in 2009! That resulted in more than $161,000 in savings of preparation fees, more than $603,000 in tax credits, and almost $1 million dollars in total refunds for community members. Now THAT is what it means to Live United!

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