United Way of Pasco plans to expand its reach

As he assumes the helm of United Way of Pasco County, Chuck Anderson said he plans to build on the organization’s previous successes.

Anderson became president and CEO of the organization on Jan. 14, succeeding Alice Delgardo, who retired.

Chuck Anderson, the new president and CEO for United Way of Pasco County, plans to expand community outreach in the county. (Brian Fernandes)

He recently moved to the area from Fort Myers, and he’s well aware of Pasco County’s growing population and increasing demand for services.

United Way is already known for its collaborative work, but Anderson wants to expand those efforts.

The United Way recently got involved as an intermediary, to address financial shortfalls two agencies were facing because of the recent federal government shutdown.

The lack of federal money put the continued operation of two nonprofit agencies in jeopardy.

“The county (Pasco County) and United Way (of Pasco) worked collaboratively to put together a pool of funds to keep two of those programs running,” Anderson said.

He understands, personally, the impacts that a federal shutdown can have because his daughter is a federal employee and has dealt with the consequences of not being paid.

One way to help people who are struggling is to assist them with filling out their federal tax forms, he said. United Way has a program that can help people secure their tax refund checks, he said.

“It puts many dollars back in the pockets of people who otherwise would be indigent,” Anderson said.

The Connecticut native holds a master’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in business — and said that both have served him well throughout his career.

Previously, he taught at Florida Atlantic University and Florida Gulf Coast University.

He also worked for four years at Catholic Charities, a United Way affiliate, serving as a district director and overseeing the organization’s efforts in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties.

In that position, he helped to advance food pantries, senior services, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and programs for at-risk youth.

He also is passionate about tackling the problem of human trafficking.

Anderson said he was associated with a program that spanned 10 counties and utilized intensive casework.

“We were able to help people go from [being] unable to care for themselves to becoming independent, self-sufficient and able to function successfully in society,” he said.

Anderson believes that those who have resources need to reach out to those who lack them.

He said his life in public service has been fueled by a belief of the power that comes from engaging with other people.

“I thought the best way to help build positive change in the community was by working in the community,” stated Anderson. “It really is holding out your hand and helping somebody up.”

The United Way leader said he intends to implement this principle in Pasco County.

Published February 13, 2019

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