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Season of Giving: 'Impact a child, impact a lifetime'

Alice and Bob Betts donated to the Park Ridge Health Foundation. Alice and Bob Betts donated to the Park Ridge Health Foundation.

Don and Connie Cooper have been leadership donors to United Way of Henderson County since 2001.

“I like United Way because it supports a host of organizations in the community and does a good job of establishing needs and then allocations to each,” Don said. He trusts United Way because of its vetting of the organizations’ funding requests and for its “responsible stewardship of dollars.”
Both 66, the Coopers are retired after careers of more than 30 years – Connie was an elementary school teacher and Don a financial adviser – and their children are grown. They feel in a position now to donate more generously to causes they believe in. “Ten years ago, we couldn’t have done it,” Connie said.
They moved from Dalton, Georgia, to Hendersonville in the 1980s. Don served on the United Way board in the 1990s. Connie gave to United Way through workplace campaigns.
The Coopers give to 12 local organizations, many of them with a focus on children. “When you impact a child, you impact a lifetime,” Connie said.
“I like giving to local charities rather than national or international. I’d rather give the money right here,” Don said.
“It’s part of our charitable thinking,” Connie said. “We’re so blessed, we should be able to help others. We are too blessed to be stressed. (We believe) those who can give should.”
The Coopers “are quiet, generous supporters whose loyal and consistent support makes a critical difference to our campaign each year,” said Denise Cumbee Long, executive director of the United Way of Henderson County. “Although they may prefer to stay behind the scenes, it has been incredibly helpful to know that we can count on their generosity each year as we raise funds to invest in the community programs and initiatives that make Henderson County a better place.
“Don and Connie are great examples of donors who may not be as involved in volunteer activities but believe in our mission and work and quietly give to United Way year after year because they trust us to use their dollars wisely and well.”