Alumni United spotlight: Bruce Pierce

Published on June 17, 2020 in

When did you first start supporting United Way?

In the early 1990s I signed up for automatic payroll deduction with Ford. As part of the annual United Way campaign, every supervisor had a brief discussion with each of their employees and passed out the signup form. Didn’t think twice about it!  .

What was your first job?

I was maybe 5 when I’d join my older brothers shoveling snow for their regular customers. I’m sure I didn’t pull my weight at that age, but it sure was fun! I started my own “nightcrawler” business out of our house when I was about 8. I remember nights when I’d catch north of 250!

What was your most memorable volunteering experience?

When I was in maybe fifth grade I was assigned to help a struggling younger kid learn to read. I honestly didn’t think so much about it at the time. About 25 years later, the guy spoke to my parents and told them what I’d done for him, and how I’d made a difference. They were bursting with pride when they told me about the discussion.

What is your favorite pastime/hobby?

Spending time in and around the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

What has been the most surprising part of retirement?

How easy it is to find meaningful ways to make a difference. You just need to look around and pick something. There’s so much need out there, and we have so much knowledge and capability to make a difference.

Who inspires you?

My late father. He dropped out of school to support the family after his dad left. He worked hard and taught his five kids many great life lessons by example. There wasn’t anyone in my town of 2,000 that didn’t respect and appreciate him.

What is your favorite quote or the mantra you live by?

“No one on earth is better or more deserving than anyone else, be humble” – my dad.

What is one food you could never bring yourself to eat?

Not a big fan of liver or blood sausage.

What was your favorite toy growing up?

I pitched in with my brothers to buy a go-cart when I was about 8. There was a gravel alley and open field behind our house, I’d drive for hours!