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United Way In the News


United Way’s mission to improve lives and strengthen our community is fueled by the passion and hard work of over 2,000 local volunteers. People are giving their time and talents to create lasting solutions that make life better for all.  Some volunteers are quiet pillars whose humble nature prevent others from knowing the incredible work they accomplish. Paul Struck, Principal at Lincoln Elementary School, is a community member who does not consider himself a volunteer, but his huge heart and caring personality say different. Struck was recently awarded United Way of Greater Yankton’s January Volunteer of the Month award for his dedication to Food for Thought, Yankton School Food Pantry, hosted at Lincoln Elementary School.  

 “Paul has been instrumental in the success of Food for Thought. His willingness to provide services at Lincoln have been crucial to this community program, serving hundreds of families who are food insecure,” shared Marc Bies, United Way Board President and Yankton High School Counselor, who nominated Struck for the award. “Paul is a quiet pillar within our community when it comes to caring for youth. He identifies a need and figures out how he can make an impact to improve lives.”

We asked Paul Struck to share, in his own words, more about his volunteer efforts.

I have lived in the Yankton area since 1992, when I started my volunteer work.

I continue to volunteer because I enjoy working with people who have that spirit of volunteerism.

I am a lector at St. Benedict Church and volunteer for our yearly soup dinners and bazaars. I am a Board Member for Yankton Food for Thought which helps coordinate our Sack Pack and school food pantry programs.

Volunteer work is enjoyable because I get to know and work with people who are trying to make our community and our world a better place. People who love to help others are great people to work with.

I cannot pick just one favorite volunteer experience, I have enjoyed all of them, but working to develop the first school food pantry in South Dakota outside the city of Sioux Falls has been a special experience. I have been able to work collabortively with my daughter Allison to create a new program which has benefitted many children and adults who are part of the Yankton community.

The advice I would give to anyone thinking about volunteering is that volunteering in our community is one way to make it a better place for all of us.

For more information on local volunteer opportunities, or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, visit, email or call (605)665-6766. 

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