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Jenni Carr Named 2020 United Way Advocate of the Year

Jenni Carr, Centra Credit Union’s community involvement officer, was named the 2020 Advocate of the Year by the United Way of Bartholomew County. Jenni has been involved with the United Way for nearly four years and says she is humbled by this award.

“I’m grateful to be a part of this community where people believe in the amazing work of the United Way and to join the long line of other amazing Bartholomew County Advocates of the Year!” Jenni said.

The award was announced by United Way Volunteer Action Center Director Alicia Monroe during the United Way’s virtual annual meeting. According to Alicia’s introduction, the Advocate of the Year award recognizes those who support the United Way and “use their voice to educate and empower fellow community members to get involved.”

“I love being able to use my voice to share and advocate for the United Way,” Jenni said. “They play such a crucial role in supporting our friends and neighbors in our hometown.”

Jenni attends all the United Way events, volunteers with partner agencies, and continuously works to inspire others to get involved as well. She said her favorite opportunities include events like the Day of Caring and Day of Service, “the ones where you walk away seeing and feeling the real difference you have made.”

As Centra’s community involvement officer, Jenni also connects Centra Team Members with volunteer opportunities and manages programs such as Centra’s annual United Way Workplace Campaign.

“Not only does she better our community through her professional role at Centra Credit Union, she gives generously of her time and treasures to help others,” Alicia said of Jenni.

Jenni goes above and beyond for Centra’s United Way Workplace Campaign, adding new ways to engage Centra Team Members. This year, Jenni encouraged Team Members to sign up to be United Way Champions for their locations and departments. She worked closely with these Centra Team Members to offer advice on engaging other Team Members, especially during the unique situation created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“Centra has a great team full of individuals who are eager to help however they can! Our Team Members who stepped up to advocate for the United Way were able to share all the amazing work the United Way does with everyone in the Centra Family,” Jenni said. “We worked together to reach all our Team Members with email campaigns that focused on educating them on the United Way’s mission. Then, we shared success stories from individuals whose lives has been impacted by these crucial programs. We added in some incentives as well to make it fun for our teams!”

Jenni’s leadership and engagement with Centra Team Members has led to the United Workplace Campaign consistently growing during the last few years. In 2020, Centra’s Workplace Campaign donation to the United Way of Bartholomew County reached $58,070.

“We are incredibly humbled and grateful for Team Centra who worked tirelessly to raise funds that will help our most vulnerable neighbors!” the United Way of Bartholomew County shared in a Facebook post announcing the donation. “Partners like Centra help us ensure that children are supported in and outside of the classroom, that families have their basic needs met and that everyone has access to high quality healthcare.”

Jenni was also quick to recognize the immense need that the COVID-19 Pandemic created in the communities Centra serves. She quickly engaged the Centra Foundation board and the United Way to set up a matching opportunity for donations to the COVID-19 relief fund. Local donors then stepped up and met the $20,000 match.

“Your support will have a tremendous impact on our work and the services and resources we are able to provide at this critical time,” the United Way shared in a Facebook post.

Jenni’s role as a United Way Champion at Centra also led to the organization being recognized for the 2019 Live United Award. While Jenni’s spirit and enthusiasm drives others to get involved, she believes that teamwork is key to reaching any goal.

“I believe in the critical mission works the United Way leads in our community,” Jenni said. “It is truly amazing what happens when an entire community pulls together to support a common goal.”