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United Way Team - Christa Shouse

Christa Shouse, Office Manager

When did you join the UWCK team: 2012

Hometown: This is hard. I feel like I have a couple of hometowns. The original is Dyer, Indiana, the next is New Haven, Kentucky.

Family: I am an only child, and very close to my parents.  I have been married to my husband Mark for six years, he has brought three wonderful daughters into my life.

How did you first learn about UWCK:  Actually, I read about UWCK in the newspaper, the article was about the 2011 campaign total announcement, and the next thing I read was a want-ad for the position I now hold.  My actual first connection with the organization was back in 1992 or so when my Dad and I participated in a roller skating event through Dow Corning for Big Brothers Big Sisters, when United Way was just starting to have a presence in this area.

Favorite part of your job: The people I get to work with, my co-workers, our volunteers, and the folks who call our office needing assistance. I get the opportunity to assess their needs with them, and try to guide them to pathways towards solutions.

Hardest part of your work: The hardest part of my job goes back to the people who call our office looking for assistance. There are many resources in our community, but not always the ones people need. It is heartbreaking to learn of the situations our neighbors are in, and not have an immediate answer or a solution for them. I just have to remind myself that  we have to keep working together and continue to seek out new information and community partners that can provide solutions for those who may fall between the cracks. It is the hardest thing to say to someone who is in distress, that there isn’t an answer for their need.  

One thing you wish people knew about United Way: One thing I wish people knew about UW is that we don't simply a fundraise to meet basic needs. We are working with our community on many different levels to plan for the health, success, and safety of our community in the future. This is work that results are not always immediately seen, so it takes a leap of faith sometimes to believe that the work we are doing today is going to pay off in the future. However, I think as our community continues to learn more about the work we are doing, and the collaborations involved, that leap of faith is easier to take knowing the ideals and best interests of this community are at the heart of our work. This not only the work of our office, it’s the work of everyone who lives in the communities we serve.

Favorite way to spend a day off: With loved ones and my camera.

If you could change one thing about our community what would it be:  I don’t know one thing I would change. I can tell you the one thing that I hope for in all communities, is that we could have more compassion for our neighbors. I would hope that people see we have more similarities than differences. It’s easy to turn away from problems that are beyond our fixing as individuals, but when we work and face those problems together, the burden is lessened by each heart that wants to make a difference. We are all in this together.

Proudest accomplishment at UWCK: There isn’t just one thing I am proud of. I am proud of the many smaller accomplishments we achieve together. Every team member here brings something special to the table, we rely on each other to make day-to-day work successful, from a committee meeting, to a celebration event, to something as mundane as taking out the trash. We make it work and I’m proud of Us.