From his first summer job working as a toll booth attendant to his current post as president for Bank of America in Central Florida, John Moskos has always had a strong desire to make a positive impact in his community. That explains why he has been involved with the United Way as a donor and volunteer for more than 40 years.
The Schenectady, N.Y., native now serves as the Chairman of Heart of Florida United Way and sits on the organization’s Executive Committee. He is also a board member of The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and The Central Florida Partnership.
John particularly enjoys telling people about the great work performed by 2-1-1, United Way’s free, 24-hour information, referral and crisis hotline. He says that audiences are often surprised to hear that more than 50% of the help requests received each month are from first time callers.
“I use the statistics to show how much need there still is in our community,” says John. “Then I talk to people about our trained 2-1-1 counselors. I also encourage them to come in and sit with our 2-1-1 operators and listen in on some of the calls that come in asking for help.”
Last year alone, more than 164,000 Central Floridians sought urgent help through 2-1-1. However, John thinks there is still a general lack of knowledge among Central Floridians regarding the broad array of services provided by United Way in the areas of education, income and health.
He claims that more local companies would run employee giving campaigns if they clearly understood the tremendous impact made by United Way as the largest funder for the region’s most critical health and human service programs. John recalled an incident that showed him firsthand how United Way programs and initiatives can dramatically improve lives.
“Five or six years ago an associate here at Bank of America relayed a story about how Heart of Florida United Way helped her adopt a child,” he said. “A partner agency guided her through the adoption process. She’s a quiet and reserved person so it took a lot of courage and strength for her to share that story publicly. When she was finished there was not a dry eye left in the house.”
United Way is creating opportunities for a better life with help from men and women such as John Moskos. For more information on how to volunteer, please visit United Way’s Volunteer Center at www.hfuw.org/Volunteer.php or contact Matthew Blood, Manager Community Participation, at Matthew.Blood@hfuw.org, or (407) 849-2372.