Ron Smith, a small business owner and neighborhood resident, knows the importance of stretching a dollar, even when donating money to charity.

So not only does he contribute his dollars to United Way, he donates his time as well.

United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is a nonprofit organization that raises money for more than 100 other nonprofit agencies, including the Volunteer Center. The 1995 campaign is underway, and the group hopes to raise $41 million.

For two years, Smith served as a volunteer with United Way’s loaned executive program. United Way “borrows” individuals from the corporate sector to assist staff members with the annual fund-raising campaign. Most loaned executives serve one of two 10-week session in the fall while remaining on their companies’ payroll or being sponsored by another company. Smith chose to work both sessions in 1993 and 1994.

Loaned executives work full-time during their tenure to help local companies plan their campaigns. In addition, they present speeches, train corporate volunteer coordinators and attend employee meetings, volunteer fairs and other campaign events.

For Smith, a manufacturer’s representative who provides building systems for institutional projects, one of the highlights of his United Way experience was learning more about the community and its resources.

“I enjoyed touring the agencies and going to different events,” Smith says. “I gained a better understanding of how the agencies work and how they depend on United Way funding.”

This year, Smith is serving as a member of the special events committee. This group of volunteers helps plan events such as the 1995 Campaign Kick-Off, which took place last month.

“United Way depends on volunteers like Ron to meet campaign goals,” says Jill Pharr, United Way director of communications. “He is always looking for new ways he can help us.”

Smith says he believes in the mission of United Way and wants others to know about the important role this organization plays in the community.

“Lots of people think United Way is for the homeless or the unemployed,” Smith says. “United Way is there for you and for me. It’s there for all of us when we need it.”

For more information about volunteer opportunities with United Way and other non-profit agencies, call the Volunteer Center of Dallas at 826-6767. Don’t miss our new site on the World Wide Web:

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