Living United: It Runs in the Family

“We are put here to help,” says Cleopatra Hucks. “We’re always supposed to help the ones that are less fortunate than us, and I have been blessed.”

Cleopatra is a woman who loves to give back, whether it’s through donating or volunteering her time and energy. She’s an enthusiastic volunteer who also happens to be the mother of our volunteer manager, Torrance Hucks.

She volunteered with our Do More 24 Shoebox party at Tyson’s Corner Center in June, and gift-wrapped and decorated shoeboxes filled with personal hygiene and basic needs items. She wrapped each box with care. “I knew that I was making somebody happy,” says Cleopatra.

One of the benefits of volunteering with United Way that Cleopatra enjoys most is the chance to meet new people. “While I’m serving someone, I also am meeting people. I love meeting people,” she says.

In October, she joined us as a Project Homeless Connect volunteer, where she manned the volunteer t-shirt distribution table with a smile and a positive attitude. The one-day resource fair provided people experiencing homelessness with vital services, from medical care to housing counseling.

One image that has stayed with Cleopatra is looking out at all of the volunteers in brightly colored shirts, with each color indicating the volunteers’ special roles from Spanish speakers to mental health professionals to participant guides. “When you look out and see a sea of people who are there to help others, it really fulfills your day,”

 she says. “If people would just reach out and do more of this then a lot of people would be much better off than they are now.”

In addition to learning about homelessness issues in our community, she also learned something about herself that day. “I learned that I’m more patient than I thought I was.” 

Volunteering with United Way NCA connects Cleopatra to opportunities to do what she loves. For her, “Live United” is not just a slogan; it’s a way of life.

“I have a lot of respect for United Way.  I think it’s a fantastic organization to work for and volunteer with,” says Cleopatra. “United Way is an organization that reaches people who really need help. There are so many people who need help and United Way is there.”