Angie Matthiessen

Angie Matthiessen

Impact. This can be a powerful, forceful word. It makes me think of bracing for a rough airplane landing. It is a weighty word that describes two worlds colliding.

Fortunately, a powerful impact can be a positive experience and if done right, it can have lasting effects.

We all have different things we are passionate about. I am passionate about early childhood literacy and its direct correlation to future educational and financial opportunities. I am passionate about reducing adverse childhood experiences in our community and building resilience and networks of support for struggling families. These passions fuel what I do every day, professionally and personally.

Alvin Gould and Miriam P. Raines were fueled by their passions as well. Both had a heart for Charlotte County. And both valued their ability to give back beyond their lifetimes, knowing their legacy would have a lasting impact on generations to come in Charlotte County.

Alvin Gould’s permanent endowment at Gulf Coast Community Foundation supports affordable housing, animal welfare, scholarships, swim lessons for Charlotte County second graders and more.

In 2016, Gould took a step toward leaving a lasting impact through a $25,000 donation from the Gould Family Trust. The donation laid the financial foundation for United Way of Charlotte County (UWCC) to begin an extremely focused type of impact — what we call Collective Impact.

In addition to his passion and generosity, I will always remember Alvin for his joy and his sense of humor. Before he passed in 2019, I told him that I would not let his name be forgotten. I know it never will.

Miriam Raines was passionate about helping Charlotte County women improve their lives through education and furthering their life skills. She left a planned a gift in her will that created the Miriam P. Raines Charitable Fund, a permanent endowment within Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

Grants issued from the Raines Fund have been used to assist survivors of domestic violence, help single mothers struggling to make ends meet, support women overcoming addiction and more. The Raines Fund provided continued support for United Way of Charlotte County’s Collective Impact work over the past two years.

Growing up in a single-female-headed household, working with teen mothers in inner city Atlanta and then with mothers who are caring for their children with cancer and now seeing the lives changed through this collective partnering, I am personally able to live out my dreams for my career and the impacts I want to make on my community. I consider Miriam’s investments a catalyst in my success as a leader in Charlotte County.

The passion and generosity of these two individuals have left an indelible impact on my life and will have a lasting impact on countless other lives in Charlotte County through their endowments. Made possible by Gulf Coast Community Foundation, these funds and others like them impact individuals and families every day for years to come.

For more information, please call the United Way of Charlotte County at 941-627-3539. Mission: Mobilizing the power of our community to break the cycle of poverty. Angie Matthiessen is the executive director of United Way of Charlotte County. She can be reached at director@unitedway


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