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Volunteer profile: Michael Willey, United Way

Michael and Christa Willey both volunteer for the United Way. Michael and Christa Willey both volunteer for the United Way.

Picture is of both Christa and Michael Willey


Michael Willey

United Way of Henderson County



What do you do in your volunteer job?

“I sat on the panel for health and it really opened up our eyes just how United Way works in the community and where the money goes and why and really how strong a steward the United Way is. The homework and reading we had to do for each one of these grants was great so I garnered a high appreciation for what United Way does. I was not aware of the amount of organizations we have and what I was really touched by was how the organizations worked together. I thought that was pretty neat to see, especially with the kids’ stuff. I’m in their Rising Leaders group, which through a six-month program of two-hour sessions you basically learn how to be on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit. They also asked me to be a loaned executive, which is someone that goes out in the community within the different assigned companies that donate to the United Way in corporate settings. I told them my story and how I’ve seen United Way work that’s touching so many lives.”

How long have you been volunteering?

“I started working with the United Way this year. I would say over the past eight to 10 months.”

Why do you volunteer?

“Growing up in the nonprofit world, my father was a county sheriff for 30 years and my mother sat on the board of the nations’ largest nonprofit dealing with child abuse. Being involved in nonprofits was in my DNA. It’s rewarding to me on a personal level. I’ve always been brought up with nonprofit work and on top of that I want my children to see what we should be doing to assist others in our back yard that need help.”

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

“Touching people’s lives. The first rising leader class we went to an assisted living home and helped clean the floors of one of the residents who could not do a good job for herself. We know we cleaned the floors but also we were able to sit down one on one with her and really understand. It was just touching to see. She enjoyed the one and one time and was fulfilled as well. Touching people’s lives and being involved with that process.”

If someone is interested in volunteering, what is the best advice you would give based on your own experience?


“I would say as far based on my experience, do what you can do to get involved in something that pulls your heartstrings, whether it’s children’s care or the elderly or animals, something that touches you and rewards you on a personal level. There’s so much need out there in the world today that finding seething is simple.”