Ken is co-chairman of the Food Committee and an Executive Board Member on the Connecticut AFL-CIO Metal Trades Council. He spoke to us about his experiences serving others and what makes United Way special.
Hi! Tell us a little about yourself. How are you involved here at United Way of Southeastern Connecticut?
I’m Ken DelaCruz, and I’ve probably been volunteering for about 45 years…let me rethink that, maybe about 35 years. I serve as the co-chairman for the food committee. That entails sitting down and going over all the issues that are involved with the food center.
Why did you want to get involved with United Way?
Because the United Way serves a diverse community, from babies to the aged.
What makes you want to give back?
Well, I think it’s everybody’s duty to help out in the community in which we live.
What’s your favorite part about being a volunteer?
I’m constantly running into people that have utilized the many different programs and resources of the United Way and how it affects our community. I think some of my past experiences working with people that have been down on their luck and faced with tough circumstances, how the United Way has pulled them out of the brink of despair and got them back on their feet, and the many people that it has impacted- and I don’t get contacted with all of them, but for the ones that they do- they all speak very highly of the United Way and how a lot of those folks become givers and volunteers after that experience. My experience is that many people are very proud, whether it’s for food or whatever it may be, and are reluctant [to recieve services], but when they do, they greatly appreciate it because it’s the thing that keeps their head above water.
Is there anything you would say to someone who is thinking about volunteering with United Way?
By all means, if you’re thinking about volunteering, don’t think about it, just do it!