When you see a struggle, you have two options: Stand idly by or join the fight. When Stephen Woerner, president and chief operating officer of BGE (second row, first on the left), saw the many challenges facing the people of central Maryland, he decided to join the fight. But he knew he couldn’t create change alone—and that’s why he was drawn to the mission of United Way of Central Maryland.
“United Way is a great convener of others,” said Woerner, who recently became the chairman of the United Way of Central Maryland Board of Directors. “It’s that entity that brings other nonprofits together to solve the most complex problems facing communities. It doesn’t exist to do it all, but it exists to bring teams of organizations together that can do it all.”
Over the years, Woerner has participated in many United Way of Central Maryland programs, such as the Walk a Mile educational experience, in which participants assume the role of an individual living at or near the poverty line and are challenged to make tough life decisions with few resources.
He’s also participated in Project Homeless Connect, a daylong event that helps unite central Maryland’s homeless with the vital services they need. Volunteers at the event help participants navigate stations ranging from dental check-ups to job training services to legal advice and even haircuts—nearly everything they need to get back on their feet.
“I’ve always been drawn to organizations that help people become less dependent and fully reach their potential,” he said. “And that’s exactly what United Way does.”
For others who are interested in joining the fight, Woerner says, “Just do it. Some of these problems facing communities may seem overwhelming to people—and they may not know where to start—but you can be part of the solution.”
With the help of more organizations and members of the community, we can turn the fight into a win. “Get involved by donating your money or your time or your talent and be part of that solution,” said Woerner. “You really can make a difference.”
Learn how you can join the fight for education, financial stability and health.