by Adrian Vassallo
Business Development Executive, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP
When I moved to Asheville 10 years ago, I came from a community that did not have a United Way presence and one where I really didn’t feel connected. I knew before I moved that Asheville was going to be home for a long time and I wanted to put down roots here. Part of that began with building a house and then starting a family, what many still call the American Dream. However, I wanted to do more and that included serving my community to make it better.
Within weeks of moving to town, I became involved in a few organizations through friends. But it wasn’t until one of my partners at DHG suggested that we get a group together for the annual Day of Caring, that I realized where my community service could have a real impact. Since then, our firm has pulled together teams to pack food at MANNA, work on landscaping at Verner Center for Early Learning, spread mulch at Hominy Valley and Eblen Intermediate schools, paint walls at the Montford Recreation Center and pack backpacks for local school children. There is no doubt that the volunteer spirit is vibrant in our community and especially at my firm.
But it takes more than sweat to keep the lights on. While the volunteer projects are rewarding and fill our hearts with compassion, at some point it takes dollars to fund programs and keep professional staff on task at our local organizations. Our firm leadership has made the United Way annual campaign a priority. Not just by advocating internally among our employees, but by putting real dollars behind it in sponsorship. One of the main reasons people cite for not contributing is that no one ever asked them to. By supporting the annual campaign, we give the United Way resources to devote to the “ask.” The need in our community is great and I know we can continue to grow the support going forward. I urge you to remember: Give, Advocate, Volunteer. Three simple words that when put into action can result in great improvement for everyone in our community.
Adrian just celebrated his ten year anniversary with DHG LLP and has served several local organizations. When not giving back to his community, he can be found hanging out with his family (Jill, Frida and Olympia). He runs and bikes all over and afterwards can be found enjoying a beverage at one of the South Slope breweries.
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