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United Way Board Spotlight: Suli Furman

Suli Furman, past United Way Agency recipient and 2017 Board Member, was born and raised in Arizona. She is married to Travis Furman and is a mom to five spunky kids. Although she spent most of her life out west, she has lived in Minnesota since 2007 when her and her husband moved here to continue their work with troubled teens. She loves the change of seasons and the pace that this area provides. 

What inspired you to be involved with United Way?
My experience with United Way is personal.  In 2012 my husband and I were laid off from our jobs and found ourselves in real need of help. To make matters worse we were also struggling with addiction and legal issues. It was only through the help of local organizations provided that we were able to get back on our feet and keep our family intact. I have since come to learn that these organizations are backed by our local United Way of 1000 lakes.  I became involved to give back and work for the very community that saved my life.

What is the most rewarding thing you have taken from this experience?
It holds true, the more you give the more you receive.  It seems strange to think that while I am trying to give myself, that I find me receiving instead.  The personal, emotional, spiritual and mental growth through surrounding myself with those who live life with a passion for helping others is so uplifting.  It makes me want to DO better.

What is one word you would use to sum up United Way’s work?

Hyphenated: Life-changing

What impresses you most about Itasca?
Itasca has a great passion for families. There are a number of passionate people behind programs that help support healthy families through groups, education and events.  Most of these programs and events are fun, free of charge and open to the public. 

What is one thing about United Way that you think most people don’t know?
United Way of 1000 lakes is supported and funded by YOU. Take a look around; “WE” are your neighbor, your coach, your CEO, your coworker, working together to make a better Itasca for US to live and thrive in.

What advice would you give to a potential donor who is considering investing in United Way?
Don’t wait to give.  United Way reaches families so they can achieve wellness.  Time, energy and money are all necessary parts of the equation. Whichever area you find you can contribute to, do it… don’t wait.