Geoff Tucker, Vice President of Franchise Operations – West at La Quinta Management LLC, fell hard and fast for United Way after being asked to run the company-wide campaign.

He had been a faithful giver for many years, but hadn’t seen firsthand UWMD’s impact. Then he was asked by executives at La Quinta to chair the corporate-wide campaign and in typical Geoff fashion, he said, “Sure! Would love to!”

Not familiar with the campaign process, he did what a smart leader would do – he surrounded himself by those who not only knew the process but embraced it and were passionate about United Way’s work in the community and its commitment to corporate partnership.

“I would say that most people are in the same boat I was – they want to help but don’t know how. But I can tell you that it can be the simplest of things. It doesn’t have to be gigantic. You don’t need to be a superhero to be involved,” Geoff said. “It’s a whole bunch of people working together who make a big difference – everyone doing something small makes a huge impact.”

Geoff says writing a check is great, but if someone really wants to be impactful, doing something good for someone – in person – and getting a smile in return is priceless.

“The volunteer experience is about the up close and personal – the handshake and the hug. There is no cost for your going to help someone out. It’s about the experience.”

Geoff helped to create such experiences for himself and his fellow La Quinta volunteers. During a recent volunteer event, Geoff and La Quinta teammates turned empty apartments into homes for three deserving veteran families.

“The veterans were extremely pleased at the transformation of their apartments and it was great to know that they appreciated the help,” said Geoff.

Geoff is a family man. A family man who wants to instill in his two sons the importance of giving back to those who are less fortunate. So he and his campaign team also organized a volunteer day for La Quinta partners to bring their kids to the office to color greeting cards for active military and make snack bags for the homeless.

“The more I got involved, the more I realized it is truly a unified group of people at La Quinta and at United Way. It’s all about the people and the relationships with people who truly care.”