From the time he first came to Orlando, Chad Wilson, District Manager at Publix, has always been inspired by the dynamic community and was motivated to contribute any way he could. Dedicated to service, he volunteered with a local food bank, providing assistance to the homeless in the area. He first heard about Heart of Florida United Way from the leadership at Publix in 2000. Chad saw leading United Way volunteer projects as a development opportunity.
“This was a chance for me to see how good of a leader I could be,” Wilson said. “It’s easy to motivate people when you’re the boss and have a say in someone’s job, but when it’s for the good of the community, it takes a special sort of leader to inspire them. My job is to be better, leave the world a little better, and utilize the skills Publix gave me.”
Volunteering and community service is very personal to Chad and he views it as an essential aspect of his family’s life.
“I have two boys, and our work with the United Way has been a big part of shaping them to be well-rounded and compassionate men,” Wilson shared. “It gives them a greater understanding of the community and made them understand they have a responsibility to do more.”
Over the years, Chad has been involved in endless volunteer projects and initiatives. His favorite though was last year’s Day of Caring, where Publix volunteers painted houses to improve a neighborhood. It was a daunting task, but Publix volunteers finished the entire community in record time. Even the professional painters, who had been skeptical the project could be completed in just one day, were impressed—Chad recalls, ‘They said ‘you Publix folks can work!’”
Volunteers make a huge difference, and Chad strongly encourages people to consider volunteering in their community, especially with the United Way.
“There is nothing better than giving back,” Wilson said. “Too often we focus on ourselves and forget the bigger picture. Volunteering focuses on larger issues and allows you to truly be part of the community.”
Volunteers are essential to what the United Way does. Our Volunteer Resource Center matches volunteers—both individuals and corporations—with hundreds of local nonprofit agencies to create exceptional volunteer experiences throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the Volunteer Resource Center.