Monday, March 4, 2013

Donor Spotlight: Carole Bentley

After Carole Bentley survived cancer, she knew she wanted to give back to people who were going through what she had experienced. That passion for helping others drove her to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, where she has worked on events including their gala fundraiser. Fortunately for us, Bentley is also a firm advocate for United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and its mission for our community. She has been donating to United Way for her entire career, more than 35 years. She filled out a pledge form at her very first job at First National Bank, and still gives today as the senior vice president/Commercial Lending Center manager at Banner Bank in Lake Oswego.

Along with her co-workers, Bentley is involved in the United Way workplace giving campaign at Banner Bank. In 2012, Bentley’s branch had the best-ever results for any local Banner Bank — their campaign total more than tripled. That means more money going back to the community to create change. Her advice for anyone involved in running a United Way campaign is to focus on the human aspect and engage with employees. It’s important for potential donors to understand that “someone you know might have been helped by United Way.”

Having lived in the Portland area for many years, Bentley says that what she loves most about this community is that while it has all the resources of a major metropolitan area, it has a small-town feel where everyone knows and supports each other.

Bentley’s worked to make sure that her own values continue in the next generation. She has two sons and taught them from an early age that “when we’re lucky enough to not be hurting, we must help others who are. And, if you can’t give money you can give time.”

Bentley says that she gives to United Way because she loves the fact that 100 percent of her gift goes to help the community. “I like to know where the money goes and I’ve always felt confident that when I give to United Way the money will be used wisely.”

Thank you, Carole Bentley, for your 35 years of giving and creating change in our community. We can do what we do only because of donors like you.

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