For Ben Morales, building a community that can LIVE UNITED is the heart and soul of his work every single day. Through his work with United Way of Thurston County, he found a way to make a difference and fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in Thurston County.
Morales became part of our regional community in 2003 when he joined the banking team at Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU). Moving from the Las Vegas area, he first heard about United Way of Thurston County through former Board member and former Olympia Mayor Doug Mah. As membership tenures changed and a new spot opened, Morales joined the Board. That was ten years ago.
Since then, he has “helped support UWTC as they identify challenges in the community, allocate resources, and help filter, focus, and steward United Way to achieve its mission,” says Morales. He does this through contributions of time and money, participating on committees, providing guidance, and “understanding community needs so the organization can stay relevant and continue to make an impact either on big issues or in emergencies.”
Even if you don’t feel ready to tackle a seat on the Board of Directors, Morales encourages everyone to consider giving however they can. “It’s not just about dollars; everybody has something of value: time, money, and know-how. People have an experience that could help, time to volunteer, and can give money towards initiatives.”
Though Board terms are typically limited to nine years, COVID-19’s shutdowns and restrictions meant current members have extended those limits but will soon wrap up their time. This doesn’t mean Morales is done. Quite the opposite! “I want to keep helping as much as possible,” says Morales. And he hopes to transition into another helpful role wherever needed. “Community matters, whether you’re living, working, or worshipping there.”
Since relocating to the Pacific Northwest from Nevada, Morales has worked as Chief Technology & Operations Officer at WSECU. He and his family quickly fell in love with our lush, green area. When not at the office, he enjoys traveling with his four children and now four active, growing grandchildren, ages 8 months to 7 years old.
Charitable giving statistics show that giving has risen in the United States despite the pandemic. Numbers were up 9% in 2021, a three-year increase of almost 20%. And of those donations, at least 80% came from individuals and groups, with only 20% coming from corporations. That means moms and dads, students, retirees, clubs, and teams all coming together to build a strong, vibrant, secure community.
Whatever you can do to help the community, please consider taking that first step. Donate online or find out how to volunteer. A few cents a day or an hour a week can change lives forever.