GUEST COLUMN: Be a Difference Maker Influencer in 2023

By Angela DeBoskey

Resolve to get involved.

It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

At the start of this new year, you may be searching for a way to bottle the spirit of the holiday season and carry it with you through the coming months. You may be looking for a way to connect. To give back. To Make a Difference.

We are blessed at the United Way of Hancock County with an active, engaged group of volunteers who raise their hands when the call to help is made. Better yet, many of them bring a friend. We call this a Volunteer Influencer.

While these Volunteer Influencers have yet to go viral on social media, they are impacting the world around us and making Hancock County a better place for all. They are supporting hunger initiatives and working in shelters, mentoring at-risk youth, leading education initiatives and pitching in at fundraisers. They have also been integral to this year’s United Way campaign, helping with everything from stuffing and addressing envelopes to installing signs throughout the county.

These Volunteer Influencers are vital to the success of many of the programs and initiatives in our community, and they are encouraging their friends, family members and coworkers to get on board. In 2022 alone, our volunteer hub Volunteers United matched 46 groups with projects that fit their skills and interests (not counting our twice annual Days of Caring events). That’s a 360% increase over the year prior, and just the tip of the iceberg of what we have in store for 2023.

If you’ve been meaning to get involved, find a local influencer or register with Volunteers United through our website, You’ll be able to explore opportunities that best fit your goals, skills and passions. You’ll come away knowing that you’ve made a difference in other people’s lives and strengthened your community while meeting new people and generally feeling good about yourself.

There is no wrong way to Make a Difference, and there is no limit to the ways we can all work to better our community and the people who call it home. Next week, we’ll highlight the many ways Volunteers United can tailor your experience to the causes that matter to you most.

DeBoskey is CEO of the United Way of Hancock County.

(This guest column appeared in the Findlay Courier on Jan. 4, 2023.)