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Now introducing your other United Way – Thomas Jefferson Area intern!

Hi all, I’m Meredith Welch, the other intern. Like Jean, who wrote last week’s blog, I am a student at the University of Virginia. I spend a few hours of every week at theUnited Way office trying to learn everything I can about the organization. My experience so far has also been a blast, full of great opportunities. I have helped with numerous projects around the office, but the one that I want to talk about today is FamilyWize.


Meredith FamilyWize is a prescription drug savings program. The gist of the program is actually pretty simple. These little orange and white cards offer discounted prices on prescription drugs. It seems like such an easy way to save money and help people get medicine, but making sure that the card is circulating around the community so that it is accessible to all has been a trying task. I have run into my fair share of problems trying to make sure that these cards are abundant and dispersed in the area. I first tried calling pharmacies throughout the area, but I found that most pharmacists were pretty busy. No one wanted to talk to me! I would call, give my spiel, and then hear that they weren’t interested or couldn’t accept the card. Since then, I’ve tried other tactics, with a little more success.


Perhaps the pharmacy isn’t the only place to put these amazing little cards; other outreach-centered organizations were happy to stock the cards and help hand them out. At first, this was a frustrating experience, but I just learned that if you really want to do something, you can’t simply give up. To achieve something, you may have to try taking a different route. By adopting a “Little Engine That Could” mindset, I realized that setbacks are just little disappointments, not necessarily defeats. This is only one example of what I’ve learned so far as an intern, but it’s a lesson that I’ll hopefully carry with me forever. 



I have also realized just how dedicated the United Way staff is. They face setbacks like these everyday. Maybe there isn’t enough funding for a certain program, or they need to get the word out about an event. Whatever it is, they definitely don’t give up or stop trying. They seriously care about the community and do whatever they can to make it better. I so am lucky to be involved in an organization that focuses on helping others! Can’t wait to see what else my time at the United Way has in store!


Posted by Meredith Welch.

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