Andrea Rodrigues started contributing to United Way of Greater New Bedford through her job after college, but she wasn’t quite sure why.
Now First Vice President of Marketing and Community Relations at BankFive, Andrea does a lot more than donate money to the United Way. And she has no doubts about why she does it.
Andrea saw first hand the United Way’s approach to helping the community when she signed on as a loaned executive, working every Friday afternoon to stuff envelopes and deliver annual campaign packets.
“It’s easy for an organization to keep doing whatever it’s doing,” she said. “But United Way was really adapting to the changing times. They were always reviewing what they were doing and thinking about whether it still made sense for the community.”
Andrea deepened her involvement, helping to organize the annual campaign at the bank and arranging marketing sponsorships for events. “It’s a testament to working for a community bank,” she said. “We care about our community. It’s not just about donations. It’s also about volunteering and giving your time.”
Her favorite United Way program is the Mobile Market, which BankFive supports and hosts at two of its locations. She likes meeting the people who come week after week, working families who receive no other benefits and could not afford fresh, locally grown vegetables. While they are at the market, they also have the chance to learn about other resources that could help their family.
Andrea has been bringing her daughter, Bryn, to the Mobile Market since she was 4 years old. Now 7, Bryn is starting to understand its importance, she says.
“My daughter is living a different life than I did when I was growing up,” Andrea said. “I really want her to appreciate that not everyone has what she has.”
The daughter of New Bedford factory workers who also gave to United Way, Andrea is pleased with the chance to give back that BankFive and the United Way provide her.
“I get to work in the same community I live in and have opportunities to help my neighbors,” she said. “I am very grateful.”
Andrea is now a member of Women United and volunteers with her daughter at other UW events like Hunger Heroes and Baby Bundles.