“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

For almost a century, United Way of San Diego County has aligned with partners and leveraged resources to address inequities in our region and help underserved communities. United Way San Diego’s Board Chair, Tony R. Russell, is helping raise funds through the Virtual Centennial Celebration to support their education and family programming.

10 Things About Tony R. Russell & United Way San Diego

#1 I grew up in Calhoun City, Mississippi, home of the Wildcats, population 2,000. The United States Marine Corps brought me to Southern California when I was 17, and I have been here ever since.

#2 I think there are two skills that everyone should have: compassion and empathy. I am proud to say that the United Way of San Diego County played a major role in helping me develop these skills.

#3 One of my favorite travel destinations was my six days and five nights trek to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro (approximately 20,000 ft.). It was a challenging and humbling experience, but I learned so much about myself.

#4 It would be awesome to visit the seven wonders of the world.

#5 I have visited approximately 42 countries and collected artwork from almost every one.

#6 When I am having a challenging day, I think about all those nights I volunteered at Father Joe’s Villages. It helps me realize how fortunate I am and that my challenges are small in comparison to many others.

#7 A little compassion, listening, and a hello can change someone’s day and sometimes their life.

#8 I value honest and open communication at work, home, with friends, and most importantly, with myself.

#9 For years, I did not support non-profit organizations. However, when asked by leaders, who saw more in me than I saw in myself, to take on the United Way Campaign, I said “yes.” This has had a very positive impact on my life, and I hope that my participation has had a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.

#10 “….With absolutely no income coming in or savings left, my family was facing homelessness. As a mother of two, with a child who has a chronic autoimmune disease that places him at a higher risk for severe health complications, I felt alone. But when I stumbled across the Worker Assistance Initiative, I quickly submitted my application. After denial letters from unemployment and small business loans and grants, we were thrilled to qualify for financial assistance through United Way of San Diego County. The initiative kept our internet active for our children’s online classes and covered part of our SDG&E bill to keep our lights on.” – Lacey

United Way San Diego
Virtual Centennial Celebration
October 8, 2020
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.