"Join Us in Improving Lives" Guest Column

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David Wiggins serves as Chair of our Community Campaign. Campaign volunteers are key to our success every year, driving energy and information into the community. As our annual Community Campaign gets in full swing, David wrote a guest column for the Asheville Citizen-Times, which ran in the September 14 edition. You can read the complete piece on the AC-T website.

On why he accepted the position:

Taking on this position means contributing long hours on top of my normally hectic schedule as a partner with Dixon Hughes Goodman and as Dad — so why do it?

My own reasons are echoed here, in the words of my fellow volunteers. At the beginning of the year we posed a single question to the more than 300 United Way volunteers: “With all the great organizations in our community to choose from, why have you chosen to include United Way among the groups to whom you give your time, talents and treasures?” Their answers boiled down to three basic statements:

  • I love that when I give to, or volunteer with, United Way I can affect a number of issues that mean a lot to me.
  • I love that by being involved with United Way I get to know other people who care about many of the same things I do and are willing to get involved.
  • You asked me.

I relate to each of those responses as an individual, but as campaign chair I was especially struck by that last one – “You asked me.” What a powerful statement. When people gave this answer they often named someone… “Because Ron, Taylor, Joe… asked me.”

On United Way's Middle School Success:

In 2010 we dove deeper on one issue: improving graduation rates by supporting middle school youth. The Middle School Success Initiative focused at first on improving the quality and quantity of programs that serve middle school youth. Our research showed this is a critical and often underserved period in a student’s life; a period of time which can either support or hinder their path to graduation.

As a result, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County is now serving as a “backbone” organization for this community wide initiative that is harnessing the power of our educational institutions, nonprofits, volunteers and parents.

An invitation:

I hope you will visit our web site: unitedwayabc.org to learn more about all our work, including our Middle School Success Initiative.

While there, check out our campaign video. In it you will hear this: “We are all in this together. We all have a stake in our neighbor’s success and what happens to them, matters to all of us.”

These aren’t just words to us. We mean it and I invite you to join us – we need volunteers and we need donations. We need you.

David Wiggins is a partner within the financial institution services group of Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, and also serves as the office managing partner of the Asheville office. David is an active alumnus of Western Carolina University, serving on the accounting advisory board as well as the College of Business advisory board.

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