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United Way has a new face

Ashley McKnight-Taylor

The United Way of Suffolk has a new, younger face n something those involved with the local chapter of the organization hope to make a trend.

Jennifer Henderson is the new development manager for the local branch. She will assist Director of Resource Development Tywana German with many of the responsibilities of the organization. Henderson will focus mostly on Isle of Wight businesses and area schools.

Originally from Virginia Beach, Henderson was graduated from Old Dominion University in 2001 with a degree in international business. After graduation, she worked for various retail companies, from an import account administrator for Dollar Tree to an assistant buyer for the Navy Exchange.

Henderson married a Suffolkian in October and realized it was time to change more than just her name and hometown. She’d worked in retail for a long time, but, “As cheesy as it sounds,” she said, “I really felt a different calling.”

She was looking for something that involved human services and non-profit organizations. It happened that her husband volunteered for United Way: the connection was made and she’s been with the organization since the beginning of the month.

Henderson also volunteers with Suffolk 60 Care, a women’s organization that formed last year. The group focuses on ways for local women to be more active in the community.

Getting out into Suffolk and helping those she can is Henderson’s goal in her new role with the United Way and as a new resident. She wants to get the word out about United Way, to encourage more people, especially those of her generation, to get involved.

“The United Way is governed by the people within the community,” she said.

She looks forward to seeing how her work affects local issues, such as literacy and homelessness, she said. So far she enjoys living in Suffolk, and prefers the friendly neighborhoods to her more transient origins.

“It was so welcoming and wonderful; I felt right at home, and so I feel like I want to give back to that.”

To learn more about the United Way, visit http//www.unitedwayshr.org. Also contact Jennifer Henderson at (757)539-1498, ext. 148. Stop in the Suffolk office at 707 Gittings St., Suite 160.

Contact McKnight-Taylor at ashley.mcknight@suffolknewsherald.com