Tyson keeps charity running smoothly

Published 7:26 pm Monday, August 20, 2012

Victoria Tyson finds volunteering for Beaufort County United Way to be rewarding in many ways. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

Victoria Tyson started with United Way through the Beaufort County Community College work-study program, and then she never left.
“It’s been fabulous. We’re a one-person office, and she said she’d be happy to do it,” said Mark Hamblin, executive director of Beaufort County United Way. “She’s been coming just about every day.”
Tyson started at United Way in 2011. Nattalie Castro with the JobLink Career Center in Washington asked Tyson if she wouldn’t mind helping out Hamblin’s predecessor, Mary Elizabeth McNeill. When Tyson ran out of work-study hours, she noticed that her help was still needed and decided to stay on as a volunteer.
“Mark has got a pretty full schedule, so I help in the office,” Tyson said.
That help includes answering phones, updating donation logs; maintaining donation logs; technical support; organizing email; mailing email fliers and updating and maintaining the organization’s website and social-media networking presence.
“She’s brought us into the 21st century,” Hamblin said.
Tyson has a busy schedule of her own. She manages to balance raising a teenager, double-majoring in computer programming and information technology and volunteering 10 hours a week at United Way.
She will be graduating soon and hopes to put those degrees to use right away.
“I’ve worked in restaurants and don’t want to go back to that. I’ve seen a lot of people finish their degrees, then never put them to use,” Tyson said.
She lights up when she talks about her majors and says doing things like reimaging computers, setting up accounts, linking computer systems and troubleshooting is fun.
Tyson loves being able to help people at United Way.
“She’s just got a huge heart,” Hamblin said.
When a local cancer patient called the office because she had no way of getting to her Greenville doctor’s appointments, Tyson knew enough about local United Way programs to find the woman the help she needed.
“That meant a lot to me,” Tyson said.
She said volunteer work has been rewarding to her in other ways.
“It builds self-confidence, builds character,” Tyson said. “And you never know what you have until you see what others don’t have.”