Serving Community In A United Way

Carla Persaud, an administrative assistant in the college’s dean’s suite, organizes book sales, auctions and volunteer activities to raise funds and awareness for the Story County United Way.

By Barbara McBreen

If you want something done Carla Persaud is the person to ask. That may be why she was asked to join the Iowa State University United Way Campaign.

Last year Persaud won the Story County United Way Wall of Fame Award. The award recognizes a volunteer who has gone beyond the call of duty.

Jean Kresse, president and CEO of United Way of Story County, says Persaud served on the Day of Caring committee to kickoff off the campaign for United Way. It’s a big job. One that requires the coordination of 700 volunteers who helped clean, landscape areas and do odd jobs for nonprofit group homes and social service agencies in Story County.

“Carla’s willingness to get involved and stay active is truly appreciated. We were honored to recognize and thank her for all of her efforts,” Kresse says.

Persaud, an administrative assistant in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean’s suite, has served on the ISU United Way Campaign Cabinet for the past five years, but has been involved with United Way for more than 15 years.

“United Way has so many programs in this community that help people,” Persaud says. “It’s a very giving community and I’m proud to be part of it.”

In addition to personal pledges,
she’s helped raise funds through online auctions and book sales, which brought in almost $3,000 last year. She welcomes contributions of new or unique items for the annual online auction for the United Way Campaign.

“Everything we do helps, not only to raise funds, but raise awareness about United Way,” Persaud says.

Joe Colletti, senior associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, says Persaud defines volunteer.

“She offers her time, energy, goodwill and passion to help those in need. She is a professional who gives back and is the ultimate volunteer,” Colletti says.

Everyone who knows Persaud, knows she doesn’t walk, she practically runs everywhere—whether it’s racing to a meeting or running errands.

“I like to get things done as soon as possible,” Persaud says. “That allows me to address those unexpected items that come up.”

You can pretty much guarantee that Persaud will be racing to surpass this year’s goal of $62,500 for the college’s contribution to the Story County United Way Campaign. Just ask the volunteers who help her every year—the ones, she credits, for helping United Way succeed.