From Caring Matters, April 2016
Molly Crooks always wears a bracelet with four large blue beads. It was a gift from her sister. Every morning, she starts her day by touching each of the beads and thinking about something for which she is grateful. The piece is called a “blessings bracelet.”
Even when facing adversity, Molly is someone who counts her blessings – and that says a lot about her character.
This WOPGC member will attest that thinking of others, especially those who are facing hardships, just comes naturally. “It’s part of my DNA . . . I want to help people, to make things better for them.”
It is possible that her passion for giving and service, particularly in support of disadvantaged women and children, stems from her own personal tragedy. Having lost her mother at a very young age, Molly recognizes that life-altering situations can have devastating consequences for families. She had the support she needed during that difficult time, and through her efforts, she hopes to be able give some measure of comfort or a helping hand to someone else who is struggling.
Working in Pittsburgh and living in Washington, Molly is vested in both communities, so she splits her time and her resources between them.
She served for 10 years as UPMC’s Employee Campaign Manager for the United Way of Allegheny County, and during that time, encouraged her colleagues to raise millions of dollars to address critical needs in Allegheny County. Today, she continues to serve the United Way as a member of its Women’s Leadership Council.
In her “backyard,” Molly and her husband Tom have generously supported many charitable causes through their funds at the WCCF. The couple has also been active with several local YMCAs -- even officiating swim meets when needed. (Both of their adult sons were competitive swimmers in their youth.)
Although the members of the WOPGC share a common interest in wanting to help women and children, each participant will bring a unique perspective to the collective effort of determining which projects should receive their support.
A former Certified Public Accountant, Molly is someone who enjoys reviewing the grant applicants’ financials, and she believes that is how she contributes to the group’s discussion. Her experience from working as a Senior Associate in UPMC's Human Resources Department is helpful too. “My financial and human resources skills enable me to see the bigger picture and help determine how to best use the funds we have to make the greatest impact,” she remarked.
Having to miss last year’s grants review meeting was a disappointment, so you can bet it will be on her calendar in 2016.
But, Molly’s commitment to helping one of the most fragile segments of our community is not limited to the Giving Circle. One of her favorite ways to support the Mother’s Fund is through the Mother’s Day card campaign. She likes that with a modest donation ($15 is suggested), it is accessible for many individuals. All the mothers in her family, and also her dad, receive a Yellow Roses card each year. It has become a family tradition – a special way for Molly to remember her mother, honor her loved ones, and do something good for mothers and children who are in need.