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Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth Carlson

Sioux Empire United Way is very grateful for the leaders of our community who give their time, energy, and passion to our organization. We are grateful for our campaign volunteers who give countless hours building relationships with community leaders and business owners year after year to help Sioux Empire United Way meet our fundraising goal. We have over 600 volunteers who assist with the campaign in some way. During this Volunteer Sportlight segment, we are going to introduce you to our division chairs who serve on the Campaign Cabinet. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for continuous updates.
Name: Elizabeth Carlson 
Employer: First Bank and Trust 
Sioux Empire United Way Volunteer Role:
My first experience with United Way was by donating, then I was asked to run our employee campaigns for the bank.  The more I got involved the more passionate I became.  I was asked to help with Emerging Leaders when that started and then asked to be on the board – which was probably the quickest “YES” I have ever given. Today I serve on the Campaign Cabinet under Corporate Gifts Team E. 
Tell us about your United Way experience thus far?
Eye-Opening. I grew up in a bubble in small town Iowa. I had no idea the needs and resources that are needed.  I am so proud to be a small part of the big work that our United Way is doing for our children, families & communities in the Sioux Empire. 
How excited are you to be serving on the Campaign Cabinet this year?
Very excited ( & a bit overwhelmed!) - I haven’t ever been involved on this side and it is a lot of info and hard work.  It takes A LOT of people to make the magic happen.  I am very thankful that I was given a team of veterans and they know what they are doing and are giving me very much grace as I learn! 
What advice do you have for others looking to give back and when to know when to walk away? 
When showing up feels more like a job or burden than as an honor to give back, then you know it is time to walk.  There are so many different agencies in our community with so many opportunities to get involved with.  You should never feel like you are looking at the clock more than being all in when you are volunteering.  I know it is hard to say NO but you aren’t doing the partner agency or yourself any good by not giving 100%.
What programs have had the most impact on you and your family?
My family loves and supports many of the agencies, but recently our family has been impacted and thankful for Day Break at Active Generations.  When our children were young they loved receiving books through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and our daughter Ava also participated in Girls on the Run!