Sara Musone, Community School Director at Grover Cleveland feels beyond lucky to collaborate with volunteer Charlotte “Char” Berringer. According to Sara, “Char started as a volunteer but has become part of the Grover family and a treasured asset.”
Char has been involved with United Way of Erie County (check out the Did You Know for a complete list of her service.) She recently retired from the Erie County Department of Health where she was the Director of Community Health Services and a lead point of contact during the pandemic.
Here, Char shares why after retirement she has chosen to volunteer through United Way at Grover Cleveland, a community school.
“After working for 40 years in Public Health, I retired from County service in November 2022. I may have “retired” from the County but took this as the chance to redirect how I spend my time and energy.
I’ve been a huge supporter of the Community School strategy since it was first adopted by United Way in 2016. My husband and I live in the City of Erie and our children attended Erie City Schools. They are both thriving adults today. As I transitioned to having time to use my energies towards efforts that are important to me personally, I touched base with Sara at Grover, where our children attended. I started serving as a volunteer in early January 2023. My introductory line to Sara was 'I’m here to support you in ways that will free more of your time to look at the big picture of planning and implementing the Community School strategy for Grover.' Thus far, I’ve assisted in organizing the community closet at Grover. I sort the weekly food bag distribution to students each week, with food bags provided by the Second Harvest Food Bank and permission supplied by their parent/guardian. I also have the pleasure of offering my services during school events like Winter Fest and the Multi-cultural Night.
I encourage everyone who has 'retired' from their job to consider where you can 'redirect' and give back to your community in some way, shape or form. United Way has a host of possibilities for this to occur."