Both Brenda Campbell Warner and her husband Scott Warner grew up in environments that fostered philanthropy and exhibiting kindness to those around them. They live those values today. Long-standing Tocqueville donors, they joined the Society last year, and have taken part in some of United Way’s signature events — like the Thanksgiving Project — alongside their son Jonathan.
Brenda Campbell-Warner and Scott Warner, along with their son Jonathan, have been Tocqueville donors for over 10 years through Brenda’s workplace campaign at Deloitte. They joined the Tocqueville Society Council in 2018 to help expand the Tocqueville program and invite more people to join. Service to community is a longstanding family value, and they have found even more opportunities to give back through United Way, most recently at the 19th Annual United Way Thanksgiving Project. We asked them to share their experience with us:
Brenda and Scott, can you tell us why you give your time, talent and treasure to United Way?
It’s a family affair! Brenda’s passion for giving, and in particular her desire to help the homeless, began more than 20 years ago when she lived in San Francisco. She regularly provided financial assistance and food to help those in need, but quickly realized that a smile and a compassionate conversation could be just as important. From her childhood, Brenda remembers her Mom (Gwen, pictured above) volunteering at a shelter for battered women. The location of the shelter had to remain a secret (for the safety of its residents), but her Mom shared the importance of the work that was being done there. Brenda’s Dad was a vocal advocate of workplace giving, always encouraging his co-workers and employees to give what they could to help others. Scott grew up as the son of a Pastor and a college professor, in small, rural towns on Cape Cod and in New Hampshire. His Mom (Pastor Lil, pictured above) cared deeply for the community, devoted her time to caring for others, and still practices random acts of kindness daily. Scott’s Dad was actively involved in community work, including teaching adults how to read. He recognized that literacy was a gift that opened many doors and he shared that gift with many.
How has your family been impacted by volunteering and giving to United Way?
We are grateful to the United Way for the work it is doing in our communities, and the opportunities it provides for our family to volunteer together. For Thanksgiving this year, we were thrilled to participate in both the family night in advance, packing wonderful meals for deserving families, and distribution day (pictured above). On distribution day, Brenda’s Mom and sister, Lauren, were instrumental in organizing an extra 100 last minute care packages for local families. Brenda and Scott’s six year old son, Jonathan, teamed up with other kids on distribution day to fill bags, stock food pantry shelves and most importantly – exclaim “Happy Thanksgiving” to each recipient who walked in the door to pick up a meal. The sound of excited children filled the air and the smiles on the recipient’s faces were priceless. Grandma Lil handed bags to recipients and received lots of hugs in return. The event was great for everyone involved. After the event, Jonathan insisted on wearing his “Live United” t-shirt for the entire day (including to a friend’s birthday party). He told anyone who would listen about the great morning he had providing meals to families in need. It’s a tradition we look forward to continuing for years to come.
What does being a Tocqueville member mean to you?
Brenda has been contributing to the United Way for more than 25 years through Deloitte’s annual workplace giving campaign. Deloitte has been a longstanding partner of the United Way, actively encourages workplace giving, and promotes Tocqueville membership. Brenda accepted a challenge to step-up to Tocqueville more than 10 years ago.
For us, being Tocqueville members has strengthened our connection to the United Way and the community. As Tocqueville members, we participate in Leadership Society volunteer projects and attend Tocqueville members-only events. These events give us opportunities to spend time with other donors who are also deeply committed to the community. We were asked to join the Tocqueville Council about a year ago, which has led to an even deeper connection with the community and has given us the opportunity to encourage other donors to join us in stepping-up to Tocqueville.