The Endless Ripples of Giving Back

Several years ago, the Dalai Lama took to Twitter to send out the following message: “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” UWYC Board member Meredith Dunlap-Sterrett knows exactly what he means.


She’s seen it in action as a volunteer leader with United Way of Yavapai County. A donation dropped into a pool of funding is turned into grants, which then lead to programs and services that change lives. Often the clients pay it forward, volunteering for the organizations that gave them a hand so that more people can be helped. “Every time we give, it’s impacting the community as a whole,” said Meredith, who is a Senior Vice President for National Bank of Arizona. “It’s a much bigger picture than we realize.” Meredith’s position with National Bank of Arizona means she’s responsible for 19 branches across northern Arizona, stretching from Wickenburg to Page and out to Springerville. The Dewey native is a big believer in giving back to the local community and encourages her teams to be involved in supporting nonprofits. Which is why the upcoming UWYC workplace campaign next month at the bank’s branches is very important to her. “Workplace campaigns are great because they unite people around a common goal,” she said. “The fact that United Way is the funding source for most of the nonprofits in our county means that if we give to the United Way, we can support any or all of those organizations we care about. It’s a really convenient and easy way to give back to the community.” Meredith’s introduction to workplace giving began shortly after beginning her banking career 27 years ago. She first started supporting United Way through a workplace campaign. A year later, she got a much fuller idea of the impact her donation made when she joined the Allocations Committee (which is now called the Grant Review Committee). “We heard all these presentations about the work organizations were doing and it gave my donation real meaning,” she said. “That was the day I fell in love with nonprofit work.” If your business or organization would like to host a Workplace Campaign this year, please contact Nina Seim or Kristie Bandy, or call (928) 778-6605.