It was over 30 years ago when Anne Ciresi, recipient of this year’s Women United Award, first came into contact with United Way of Rhode Island. She was introduced through an employer who was a strong supporter, “From there, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the work,” she says.
Anne may have gotten involved with United Way by chance, but her love of helping young people began much closer to home, “My husband taught for 35 years,” she explains. “His passion for teaching children has always inspired me.”
With the 2008 founding of Women United, then known as Women’s Leadership Council, Anne saw an opportunity to work with children. It didn’t take long for her to discover her own passion for the work, “I soon realized that helping children fall in love with reading was what really spoke to me,” she says.
Today she serves as Women United’s event committee chair; her love for the work is still visible as she speaks about the group’s future, saying “It’s encouraging to see the next generation of women making the transition from the Young Leaders Circle to Women United — it only makes us stronger.”
Anne believes that the stronger they are the more children they can help, “It’s important to tell others about Women United’s work, and invite them to volunteer at events, such as United Way’s Annual Children’s Book Drive,” she explains. “Spending a hot Saturday afternoon sorting through thousands of children’s books makes me think about how good it feels to be making a difference.”
Anne’s commitment to making Rhode Island a better place doesn’t end when she goes to the office. Her employer, FM Global, works hard to maintain a culture of service, she says “I’m thankful to work for a company that cares about doing the right thing — one that not only supports United Way’s mission but actually embraces it.”
Over time, Anne has found that the power of Women United comes from each woman’s dedication to the mission, one another, and the children they help. They’re successful because “each member of Women United shares a passion for making a difference in the lives of local children,” she says. “It’s what unites us, strengthens us, and inspires us to win,” she continues.
Join us on Thursday, October 10, for United Way of Rhode Island’s 93rd Annual Celebration. Register today.
By: Jason Boulay,
Project Manager, Digital Media Marketing,
United Way of Rhode Island