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January 4, 2023

Growing through giving: Make the most of the new year by volunteering and make a difference in the Tulsa community

Originally published on TulsaPeople

In the new year, everyone wants to become the best version of themselves. Whether that is to eat healthier, save more money or pick up a new hobby — we all want to make the most of the next year. For some, that means starting a new volunteer role. 

Alison Anthony, Tulsa Area United Way president and CEO, has insight to share. For starters, we all have the same 168 hours in a week, so why not start there? 

“Instead of thinking always, ‘What do I have to do today?’ Think instead, ‘Who am I?’ And Can I be someone who has fun and finds meaning in doing things that help others and has community impact?’”

In its 98 years, TAUW has connected with local partner agencies and raised tens of millions of dollars annually through individual donors, businesses and foundations throughout six counties. Volunteers are the backbone of the organization, and thousands of volunteers work with TAUW in various ways. They host multiple Days of Caring events throughout the year, which brings in over 6,000 volunteers annually. 

Each year its annual campaign sets an ambitious fundraising goal. “The money raised goes into many of the most high performing nonprofits in our six-county area and about 146 programs within 59 nonprofits,” Anthony says.

Reading Partners is one of the local organizations partnered with TAUW. Volunteers with the program spend one hour a week helping local students gain literacy skills, according to Brenna Peterson, Reading Partners senior external relations manager.

“Literacy is the foundation for learning across subjects,” she says. “Without strong literacy skills, students will not have equitable access to higher education institutions to further their education, and career options will be limited.”

Reading Partners offers in-person and virtual tutoring options for students across 23 school sites. For those interested in learning more or signing up, visit or call the office.

“We provide all of the materials and curriculum, so no prior experience is required,” she says. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old to sign up.

Visit TAUW’s website to learn more about volunteer opportunities at its 59 partner agencies and how you can help make an impact in your community.

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