Bengal with a heart for service volunteers for United Way Community Investment Panel
November 11, 2019
Brooke Barber's six years at ISU within the Division of Student Affairs has included efforts within service initiatives of ISU, including the founding of Benny’s Pantry, the chartering of Service Corps (a student service organization), and the launch of the MLK Day of Service. Through these experiences, Brooke became closely connected with local non-profit agencies of Pocatello, and began to connect interested Bengals with service opportunities. She has a heart for giving back and loves to see that same passion developing with our students. Her work with New Student Orientation continues to give her opportunities to connect ISU students with our community, with Bengal Welcome Week activities like the Portneuf River Clean Up Project.
For the last five years, she has been part of the United Way Community Investment Panel – a group of community members who help United Way best determine how and where the funds are distributed. These panels review applications that agencies submit annually, to understand the needs and the specific niche that these agencies address within our 7 county area. She visited many agencies and was able to see their services first hand and observe how they are tackling some of the biggest social issues in our region. She thinks the major challenges for our area are homelessness, hunger and domestic violence. United Way uses funds raised during the campaign to award grants to agencies that are addressing these issues and it also supports senior services and education initiatives. All the money raised locally is benefiting our local communities through these grants.
Barber believes that human beings thrive through relationships and this is something that she realized when she visited the agencies; these agencies go above and beyond to address the root issues AND to develop relationships which help individuals and families thrive.
The funding decisions that the panels recommend are made wisely and with care and discretion. “It is an honor to be a part of the process,” she says.
“Volunteering is a critically important part of being a member of any community. As we live beyond ourselves, we live differently. We can make the lives of our neighbors better by providing tools that help them to thrive.”
Idaho State University’s State Giving Campaign runs through the month of November and is an opportunity for Bengals to invest in their local community. Payroll deductions will begin in January 2020 – please submit a pledge form as your pledge will not roll over automatically from year to year.
To learn more about the ISU United Way campaign and how you can help visit https://www.isu.edu/hr/