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October 24, 2016

Volunteer Spotlight: Harriet Miller

by PBUnitedWay

Our monthly Volunteer Spotlight recognizes Town of Palm Beach United Way volunteers who are passionate, inspiring and dedicated. They are individuals committed to transforming lives and who invest in our vision of building healthy and strong communities.

Harriet Miller has been a volunteer at the Town of Palm Beach United Way for the past 22 years. She is a Vice Chairmen on our Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Treasure Chest Committee.  Harriet has previously served on the Alexis de Tocqueville and Red Feather committees as well as on our Allocation committee. We sat down with Harriet to ask her a few questions about volunteering at the Town of Palm Beach United Way and what it means to her.

What made you choose to volunteer with the Town of Palm Beach United Way?
I had been doing volunteer work ever since I was a little girl through Girl Scouts and Rainbow Girls. Soon after I moved to Palm Beach someone (I don’t remember whom or why) introduced me to Phil Whitacre, CEO at the time. I guess Phil saw potential in me because right after that he arranged for me to have lunch with Jean Feather who was the Chairman of the Board. The next thing I knew I was making site visits, with Phil’s assistant. When I saw the magnitude of the needs in our area and the impact that our “Community Chest” was making, I was hooked.

What do you like most about volunteering with the Town of Palm Beach United Way?
I particularly enjoy the people I interact with.  We have always had an amazing staff (our current group being the MOST amazing). The members are intelligent, dedicated individuals with whom I am pleased to be associated. I am delighted to be part of a team that is, and has always been, fiscally responsible and able to make a huge impact on our community.

What have you learned by being a volunteer with us?
I have learned that there is more suffering in our surroundings than one could imagine. I have learned how good it feels to do even a small part to help relieve others’ misfortunes. Most of all, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be in a position to help.

What do you do when you’re not volunteering?
When I am not volunteering I like to knit, play bridge, read, make greeting cards on my iMac, walk with my dog, and, most of all spend time with my family and friends.

What is your most memorable volunteer moment?
There have been so many memorable moments, it’s hard to pick one. I guess it was when I was on the allocations committee visiting an agency caring for babies who were born addicted to drugs and I had a sudden almost uncontrollable urge to take one home with me. The most self-satisfying moment came when I was Chairman of the as-yet-unnamed level for gifts below Red Feather which I have always felt was a very important starting point for any charitable organization to involve donors. Feeling like we were second-class citizens because we didn’t have a name, I said to Phil, “We should call it Treasure Chest.”  He agreed and the rest is history!

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