May 8, 2018
In this series, What’s Your Why, United Way is calling on its supporters to share what volunteering means for them and why they feel passionately about a cause in our community.
“Whether in a new city or getting to know the city in a new way, when starting your career, it’s important to see the impact the working world can have on the community,” says Hannah Short. As a member of United Way LINC, Hannah’s found the perfect way to connect with young professionals who want to make an impact in Indianapolis and beyond.
The marketing associate at Eli Lilly & Company and Indy transplant recently chatted with us about her love for community and how LINC has taken her volunteering, community involvement and networking to the next level.
Why do you support United Way?
United Way has something for everyone, which I appreciate as I look to organizations I choose to give my time to. I think there is a lot of opportunity to make connections throughout the entire community through United Way. It gives me a holistic view on the problems facing our community and how to help, versus getting involved with an organization that is focused on one cause. United Way has a breadth of opportunities and knowledge available.
How were you introduced to LINC and why did you join?
Community service has always been important to me. A co-worker at Lilly introduced me to LINC, and I found out that I was eligible to join based on my age and giving level. I was excited to join and immediately got involved on the steering committee!
I knew it was an awesome way to know the community better and learn about all the partner agencies United Way supports without picking just one to volunteer with. It lets me learn about all the agencies while getting to know people of similar age and mindset. There are so many people my age and in different industries that I would not interact with if not for LINC. To have that common ground and have something that bonds us all creates a unique space to build your network and relationships throughout the city.
What’s been your favorite volunteer event with LINC?
The event we did in December when we made blankets to deliver to the homeless at Wheeler Mission. It was a very humbling experience to go spend a few hours making blankets. I learned about the severity of the homeless situation in Indy and thought about the stark contrast to my everyday life: Thinking about the small things I get caught up and worried about versus whether or not I’ll have a blanket at night.
It was a great night and really put things in perspective. To see how big of a difference people could make it under three hours — we made several hundred blankets — and to see all those stacked up and to deliver them later that week was an amazing experience.
Why is it important for young professionals to volunteer?
A lot of young professionals have been very fortunate in getting an education and having opportunities very early on in life, those are not something everyone has access too. As young professionals without kids and with more free time, it is a really good time to volunteer our time. At different stages in life you can give more or less of yourself; early on in our careers is a really good time to apply the talents and energy we have and actually give in a very hands-on way.
Why do you volunteer?
It helps enrich the community and builds bridges where they wouldn’t otherwise be. There is a lot of division in our world and volunteering is a great way to break down those barriers and see that we are just people — we have a lot more in common than we think. I believe it’s part of our duty as people to make those connections and to help each other out where we can. I feel compelled to help create opportunities for others who haven’t always been as fortunate as I have — that is really what drives me at the end of the day.
What is something you love about LINC?
I love getting to meet people from all over the city and hearing everyone’s stories. It’s been exciting for me as I’ve gone to several events and there is always a new face.
You certainly won’t regret giving it a shot, it’s a pretty “risk-free trial” if you will. Anyone who gives it a chance and just attends an event will meet great people and feel compelled to go back!
Hannah is just one of the do gooders who enjoys good deeds and a good time through membership in LINC. If you’re a young professional looking for volunteer opportunities with a fun, social twist, give LINC a try! We’d love for you to join us at IndyVolved on June 14, an event bringing together more than 100 nonprofit, community and young professional organizations for you to get connected, get involved and shape our city. Join Hannah and other LINC members for the official IndyVolved 13 After Party presented by United Way LINC at TwoDEEP Brewing Co. starting at 8:30 p.m.