Community Stories: Lily Doher, United Way CIE Network Engagement

Published on October 16, 2022 in

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I grew up in the outskirts of Parma – a tiny village comprised of a single square mile and fewer than 800 residents.

What we didn’t have in big city benefits, we made up for with sprawling green spaces and rural charm. As the youngest of four, I spent a lot of time outdoors – in the woods and in my family’s garden. It was there that I developed a deep appreciation for the environment and the reciprocal relationship between humans and nature.

Growing up, my parents involved us in every step of the food process. I remember the excitement of planting seeds and waiting for the sprouts to grow, the joy of going to the garden to pick vegetables for dinner, and then putting back into the garden’s compost what we could not eat.

As I grew, so did my interest in how food and our experiences with food are integral to all relationships. Thanks to a quick Google search propelled by a class project, I decided to go to college to become a registered dietitian. While I started my career working in hospitals and outpatient care, I always knew I wanted to end up somewhere where community was the focus.

At United Way, I’ve developed programming that teaches adults how to create positive mealtime experiences, so children grow up to have healthy relationships with food. My work has evolved over the six years I’ve been with the organization, and I’m excited to now be a part of the Community Information Exchange™ team where our goal is to transform the way the health and social services sectors work together to better serve community.

While teams and projects change and grants come and go, one thing that continues to stand out about United Way is the people. There are so many incredibly kind, empathetic and intelligent people here. I feel honored every day to be a part of their work family. Maybe one day we will all get to share in a family meal, too.

Lily Doher is the Manager of CIE Network Engagement for United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

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