United Way’s Tocqueville Society is an opportunity for passionate individuals to make lasting change in the community. Tocqueville Society members shape change by helping to influence and guide our work. Below are a few of their stories.
Like most United Way Tocqueville donors, Rich’s philanthropic roots run deep. His parents immigrated to the United States, escaping oppression as Jews from Baghdad. They gave generously to charities as well as helping many of their cousins immigrate and begin new lives in America. “Charitable giving was important in my family. My dad, especially, never forgot how lucky he was to end up here and was dedicated to helping those less fortunate. I feel very close to that immigrant mentality, and I imagine it has spilled over to my kids.” Read more about Rich.
“United Way covers the landscape of my interests. I used to be a teacher, so education is incredibly important to me. I care about social justice, so ending homelessness and helping families out of poverty are meaningful, as is helping young children prepare to enter school.”
– Rich Moche
DEB LAWRENCE AND GEORGE SWALLOW
“I was brought up in a family that felt very strongly about always giving something back. There was no entitlement – we knew that we were fortunate.”
Deb Lawrence’s introduction to United Way dates back to the first day of her first job in banking. Walking through the city on her way to Shawmut Bank, Deb was struck by how many people she saw living on the street. Growing up in Concord MA, she knew that there were homeless people in Boston, but until that moment, she hadn’t understood the enormity of the problem. She resolved to do something about it, handing out dollar bills to people on her way to work as a way to alleviate their immediate suffering.
As time passed, Deb realized that distributing cash on the sidewalk was neither sustainable nor safe. The people she met living on the street needed more than a few dollars a day- and she wanted to be part of a larger effort to solve the problem. So she became involved in the bank’s United Way campaign, helping to raise funds and rally volunteers in a cause that would become near and dear to her. Read more about Deb and George.
“I’m grateful that I work for a company that’s a long-time supporter of United Way and philanthropy in general. The bank has a strong commitment to help strengthen the communities in which we work and live.” —Deb Lawrence
A long time donor, Pam joined the Tocqueville Society in 2017. Like many Tocqueville donors, Pam Herbst got involved with United Way through her workplace campaign. Pam serves as Managing Director for AEW, one of the largest real estate investment managers in the world and recent sponsor of Greater Boston Project Connect. Read more about Pam.
“I chose the United Way because I have been a supporter of the organization since I graduated from college. My first employer after college was New England Life Insurance Company which eventually merged with Met Life. New England Life (“The New England” prior to its merger with Met Life) was a very strong supporter of the United Way through workplace campaigns and other fundraising events. I began my career seeing mentors that I admired focused on the importance of giving their time, talent and money to the United Way and other worthwhile nonprofit organizations in Boston. That philosophy stuck to me like glue.” —Pam Herbst
PENNI MCLEAN CONNER AND NICK CONNER
The Conners’ commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism as a family has a long history. They have participated in the Eversource Walk for Children’s Hospital for more than ten years. McLean and Nick are pre-adaptive winter sports coaches, and support people with disabilities enjoying snowboarding and skiing through their work with New England Disabled Sports. Tyler and McLean have our regular fundraisers for their town’s food bank, Toys for Tots, and animal shelter. The Conner family has served as a host family for visiting Chinese students. And most recently, Penni and McLean shared their family’s volunteer experiences at the Tocqueville Celebration, an aspiration and priority many Tocqueville families share. Read more about Penni and Nick
“At Eversource we deliver the gas and electric that powers our communities. And we are mindful that power is a basic need for our customers and communities. United Way has always maintained a laser focus on supporting community basic needs. Working together with United Way, we can have a positive impact on providing resources to help bridge the gap for those basic needs.”