Wes Ridlon, director of special benefits, has been with Unum for 11 years and is this year’s co-chair of the company’s Portland United Way campaign.
Here, in a Q&A with WorkWell, he shares how he supports the United Way of Portland and why it’s important for others to get involved, too.
WorkWell: How did you get involved with the United Way?
Ridlon: I’ve always been passionate about giving back to the community and the youth of Greater Portland, and I became involved with the United Way about five years ago through Unum’s annual United Way employee campaign. I’ve helped raise funds and awareness through fun events on our Portland campus, and I’ve also been known to donate to a bake sale or two.
WorkWell: What are you doing with the United Way of Portland?
Ridlon: In addition to helping with various events throughout this year’s campaign period, I’m also co-chairing Unum’s Portland campaign with a colleague and a group of great cabinet members.
WorkWell: What have you experienced by working with United Way that has inspired you?
Ridlon: I’m inspired by how passionate the United Way is about helping our community. My experience working with the organization has been a positive one, and I especially like that there’s such a wide variety of ways to contribute both your time and funds.
WorkWell: Why do you volunteer your time with the United Way?
Ridlon: I volunteer my time to the United Way as a mechanism to support issues in my community that affect us all. I believe the United Way’s resources and research are a great way to impact multiple social issues. It was a shock to learn that ¼ of Maine’s youth is hunger insecure. I am fortunate enough to have my basic needs and many of my wants met, but others are not so fortunate. That’s why it’s important to me to give back in any way that I can.
WorkWell: What does Unum’s support of United Way mean to you?
Ridlon: To see how engaged my colleagues are with our United Way Campaign is inspiring. It’s great to work for a company that supports this type of volunteer effort and is focused on giving back to the communities that we all live in.
WorkWell: Why should people support or get involved with the United Way?
Ridlon: It’s important to be engaged in your community in any capacity that you’re able, whether it’s through volunteer hours, attending and/or coordinating events in your local community, or through donations. There are many areas where support is needed and the United Way’s collective and solution-oriented approach makes a big impact on the overall health of local communities across the country.