Chris Caldwell has devoted hundreds of hours, his name, and his hard work to the mission of United Way of Delaware County, currently serving as board chair, and helping this year’s campaign by leading the pacesetter campaign strategy.
“If you want to look five or 10 years out and see yourself still living in Muncie or Delaware County, and you want it to be better tomorrow, the day after that, and the many days after those, then United Way is one way to achieve that vision," he said.
United Way's focus is laser-sharp: Improve grade-level reading performance among third-graders, a known indicator of future success.
"Imagine if there was no United Way helping non-profits become better at what they do, holding them accountable," said Caldwell. "Imagine if there was no United Way focused on ensuring that by 2024 all third graders would be reading at grade level. Think how much richer we are as a result of the organization’s efforts. That’s why it’s so important for you to be involved.”
Already, the local United Way has moved the needle. Delaware County is one of just 15 communities out of 240 across the country this year that showed significant improvement in third-grade reading scores.
Caldwell's commitment this year is simply an extension of his philanthropic nature. He was UWDC campaign chair 2013, after chairing Madison County’s campaign in 2005. In May, Caldwell, who is MutualBank’s Senior Vice President, Commercial and Business Banking, was named to the Indiana United Way Board of Directors.
Caldwell is quick to mention that expecting a place that’s better tomorrow than it is today is a two-way street and that enabling generosity is one of his primary goals in life. That’s why he has been involved with United Way in some form or fashion since 1991.
“Delaware County has given my family more than we could ever return to it,” he says. “It’s our home, and that means we have a responsibility to give back to it each day.”
United Way brings together the entire community to solve its most complex and urgent problem - the staggering poverty issue and its effects on the education of youth. Through United Way, the community is helping families in need with financial stability and early-childhood education.
“My father, in particular, has reminded me over and over again that personal gifts should be shared with others,” he said. “He taught me that I had a responsibility to give back. And I’ve found the United Way to be a perfect channel for those values since it reaches so much of our community in an efficient and effective manner.”