Find Your Way: Meet Tina
Welcome to the inspiring world of Dr. Thomasina Stenhouse, fondly known as Tina, a remarkable individual dedicated to making a positive impact in her community. Over the course of decades, Tina has taken on multiple roles, contributing her time, expertise, and passion to the United Way cause. During that time, her commitment to United Way has only grown.
Tina's journey within United Way has been characterized by diverse roles and responsibilities. From scoring grant applications to serving as a Day of Caring lead for over 10 years, she has continuously found opportunities to contribute and create meaningful change. Her involvement extended to joining the organization’s Board of Directors, becoming part of the Women United advisory board, and assuming the role of HR committee chair. And in 2020 and 2021, Tina proudly served as a United Way campaign co-chair, championing United Way’s cause during one of the most daunting times in our community’s recent history. Tina's dedication to United Way is evident in her claim of being an "adjunct member" of the staff, as she consistently shows up to support the organization's work.
“I’m retired now, so I spend a lot of time in volunteerism. And I have decided – I have chosen – to spend most of that time through United Way because when I think of United Way and what they do, they’re already done the heavy lifting. They’ve done the research. They know the area. They know where the greatest need is. And they’re working collaboratively, convening all the resources and working collaboratively to meet those needs. So I don’t have to do that. And so I can volunteer my time and my resources to United Way and do that with the confidence of knowing it’s going to where the greatest need is.”
So I can volunteer my time and my resources to United Way and do that with the confidence of knowing it’s going to where the greatest need is.”
The call to community service that led Tina to United Way began many years ago, starting with her time as a counselor at Cradle Beach camp. That experience came full circle in one of Tina’s favorite United Way memories — a Day of Caring event at Cradle Beach. Leading a team from MOOG, Inc.,Tina and her group painted the entire arts and crafts building in a single morning.
“And then at the end of the 3 hours, we just stood back and just said “ah.” It was such a good feeling, so rewarding that we could actually see what we had done. We had made such an impact in just 3 hours.”
Throughout her journey, Tina has had several "ah-ha" moments that have further fueled her dedication to United Way's mission. One such moment occurred during a visit to one of United Way’s funded partner programs, where she learned about the organization's holistic approach in assisting young mothers and fathers. The realization that they address the needs of the complete family unit, including fathers, made a profound impact on Tina. Through United Way, Tina deepened her understanding of the breadth and depth of the community's needs.
“The need is so great in Buffalo. We’re one of the poorest cities in the United states. But we’re still thriving and we’re addressing those needs, and we’re addressing them through United Way, largely… The impact on those who are less fortunate – which actually impacts the entire community. It’s not them and us, it’s all of us.”
Tina understands that making a significant difference requires working together and maximizing resources, which United Way facilitates. Tina recognizes that supporting United Way enables her to make the greatest impact by leveraging collective resources and expertise.
“I want to make the biggest impact on addressing our needs that I can as an individual. But I can’t do it individually. I can’t make the greatest impact individually. But through United Way, through the multiplication of resources and the collaboration, I can make the greatest impact.”
Tina serves as an inspiration to us all. Her unwavering commitment to United Way and the community exemplifies the power of individual dedication and collective action. Tina's journey within United Way, marked by memorable experiences and "ah-ha" moments, has solidified her belief in the organization's transformative potential. She envisions a future where Buffalo thrives, and families are provided with the necessary support and resources to succeed.
Participating in the work of United Way gives Tina a sense of purpose and connection to the community where we work and live. How will you show your commitment to supporting the strength, vitality and resilience of our community?