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Volunteer Spotlight | Beth Opishinski

How do you feel the Cape & Islands United Way is unique in its approach to the cause?

I moved to the Cape three years ago at which time I joined the Board of Directors of the Cape & Islands United Way. As I’ve learned my way as a resident of the Cape, what stands out to me is the absolute sense of community one encounters living here as a full-time resident. Most of those ties begin with a sense of the good fortune one has to live in such a beautiful area and the sense of responsibility to protect the beauty and character of this unique place. As one settles in, however, the reality of the challenges full-time residents face quickly becomes very evident. Living in such a community-minded area, the Cape & Islands United Way is able to forge deep and personal partnerships all of the organizations that work to make the Cape a better place. We all see and understand the inter-connectedness of this space, share in working to bring different parties together when we see opportunities for collaboration and celebrate each success at a very personal level.

What motivated you to become a volunteer?

I worked for years in Wealth Management where my role was to help very financially successful individuals to protect and further grow their wealth. I knew my clients and celebrated their successes with them, but I always felt there was a better opportunity for me to make a difference in the lives of people. With my children grown up and spreading their wings, I saw an opportunity to make a career switch and become involved in more meaningful “work” helping those who faced larger challenges in bettering their lives.

In what ways do you feel personally connected to the organization’s cause or mission?

I grew up in a household where my father became very ill and unable to work when I was in elementary school. My mother had to stay home to provide care to him 24-7. We lived knowing that we would lose him early on and his illness put tremendous stress on us all, despite my parents’ efforts to give us a normal and carefree childhood. We were fortunate in that my mom had an inheritance large enough to see us through, but we always lived knowing how lucky we were to have that financial security that kept a roof over our heads and food on the table. Back then I don’t think we would have known what resources were available had we needed them but even as children we understood how quickly life could be turned upside down and turned into total uncertainty and fear. The United Way is an organization that brings hope and solutions for those dealing with challenges

What would you say to others who are considering volunteering opportunities with the Cape and Islands United Way?

Our organization provides an opportunity to become involved in the community at a deeper level than one might have imagined. If you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer but do not know all the different Cape-based organizations and their missions, the United Way collaborates with a broad array of groups that address many different needs within the community. Just as we work to understand the intricacies of the unique natural environment we live in, it is also important to acquire a greater understanding and appreciation of the challenges our neighbors face so that we can work to make this a place that takes provides hope and opportunity for everyone. The United Way provides the opportunity to make a difference.

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