Over the course of 2021, we will feature 100 Heroes who have been instrumental in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors for the past century. To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2021, click here.
Today we are interviewing Kim Sweazy, a Community Relations/External Affairs Analyst at Toyota. Kim was a longtime Employee Campaign Coordinator for UWBG.
What is your role with UWBG?
I was the campaign coordinator for UWBG for 14 years until the responsibility switched over to our Human Resources department.
What did this role include? What would a normal day look like for you?
That role included helping our team members understand the importance of the United Way and how they can give. When I started, we actually did a campaign inside the plant where we trained other employees to be ambassadors. We have over 8,000 people here, so we created teams and conducted trainings to inform people about what United Way does and how important it is to the community.
As a part of Toyota, one of UWBG’s partners, can you tell us about that partnership?
UWBG was probably one of the first continuous donations we ever did. We opened our doors in 1988 and started giving to UWBG around that time. The main reason for that was we had team members from all over the state, and UWBG touched on those counties closest to the plant. We partnered with United Way because it provided widespread help to the areas right around Scott County.
What do you think is the most special thing about UWBG?
I would say the most special thing is their ability to bring organizations together and find ways to work as a team. Instead of having each agency do their own thing, they find different ways to bring agencies together - which is more powerful. Bringing them all together really makes a difference.
In your opinion, what positive change has UWBG made in the Bluegrass over the past 100 years?
I think there are a couple of things. One is bringing notice, recognition and funds to agencies that count on United Way. Another thing that sets UWBG apart is that they go out and try to find ways to make the community stronger by reaching out to multiple organizations, not just their own.
What’s your favorite place in the Bluegrass?
A long time ago someone called me a regional citizen because I work in Scott County, I’m from Fayette County, and I live in Franklin County. To me, central Kentucky is a really special place and it’s hard for me to pick one particular spot… it’s like trying to pick your favorite child! My favorite part of the Bluegrass is the Bluegrass.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bluegrass?
I think the entertainment aspect is a big piece of the Bluegrass area - whether it’s the movie theatres or the restaurants or the food. I don’t think people look at the Bluegrass as an entertainment mecca, but there are so many hidden treasures out there. The Kentucky Theatre is a very special place.
“I’m really impressed with the team that United Way has put together and the forward thinking that we’re seeing from them in looking for solutions to issues that impact all of us, not just one group.” -Kim Sweazy
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Kim! We appreciate you and all that you do.
Do you know someone who has worked alongside United Way of the Bluegrass in the past century who should be considered for our 100 Heroes series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your nomination!