Women United Member Spotlight: Rhonda Smith

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in a small town in Southern Ohio and am the oldest of five. Until age nine, I was raised by a single mother and we received welfare and food stamps as a means to survive. I will always be grateful for the sacrifices my mother made during that time. We were then so blessed to have my father come into our lives; they both always did the best they could for all of us.

 

I have worked at OneAmerica for 22 years. My life is pretty full with my two rescue dogs, Brenna and Jake, and two granddaughters, Schylar and Layla. When I volunteer, my family volunteers if the situation allows! I love getting my husband and granddaughters involved.

 

What are you passionate about? 

I am passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community when I can, especially children.  You never know when you or a family member might find yourself in need and I try to remember that.

 

When and how did you first become involved with United Way? 

I have given to United Way most of my working career (as an adult).  I started giving when I worked for K-Mart at the age of 20. Once I began working at Dave McIntire Chevrolet at the age of 22, I was introduced to Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS), a United Way of Central Indiana partner agency.  Dave was a huge supporter of BBBS.  I did not have children of my own at that time and knew I had a purpose.  I became a Big Sister and was with the same Little Sister until she reached age 18.  We still keep in contact to this day and I could not be more proud of her!

 

Why do you choose support United Way’s mission? 

Their mission aligns with my way of thinking. I don’t have time to do everything for everyone (I would if I could), but by working together we can make a difference.

 

As a OneAmerica employee, how do you feel about the new level of partnership with United Way?

I am very excited about the new level of partnership between OneAmerica and United Way. I feel very blessed to work for OneAmerica. They not only care about their employees, but care about the community. I look forward to seeing where this partnership will take us.

 

When did you become involved with Women United? 

This is my 2nd year with Women United.

 

What interested you most about Women United? 

After speaking with Maddie and Janine, I couldn’t think of a better fit for me. The idea of working with like-minded volunteers and providing children with literacy kits and now STEM and behavioral health kits that they might otherwise not have was very near and dear to my heart.

 

What is your favorite memory or event with Women United?

My favorite memory is delivering Literacy Kits to the pre-k kids and seeing the excitement on their faces as they opened the kits.  Many of them would not have the chance to have the variety of items in that kit if it were not for United Way. The books are wonderful, and the craft items give them something to look forward to in working with their parents at home.