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United Way volunteer earns Community Service Award

After volunteering for the United Way of Jackson County for years, Aaron Hoefling led the nonprofit’s fundraising campaign, which this year brought in $1.25 million for people in need.

On Wednesday, Jackson County commissioners honored him with the December Community Service Award.

“As a long-time donor and volunteer, I already had a firm belief in the power of our local United Way and how we bring folks together,” Hoefling said. “That was even more evident this year with wildfires and COVID — things beyond our normal challenges.”

United Way raises money to promote high school graduation, financial independence for families, health, suicide prevention, transportation and other goals.

For the fundraising campaign this year, United Way officials said Hoefling inspired, motivated and encouraged other volunteers to raise money that help two out of every three people in Jackson County.

“We’re a better organization and a better community for all of Aaron’s efforts,” said United Way Executive Director Dee Anne Everson.

Hoefling said he gets just as much out of volunteering as he gives. He thanked the county commissioners for recognizing him with the December Community Service Award.

“I’m humbled to do that work. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to be the most recent campaign chair,” he said.

In addition to serving as the most recent chairman of the United Way fundraising campaign, Hoefling has joined the nonprofit’s board of directors.

He has served on the board of directors for Craterian Performances and is the immediate past president. He is on the Junior Achievement Advisory Board, and also advises students to help them learn about financial literacy.

Hoefling is a senior project judge for the Medford School District, and is a runner and volunteer for Southern Oregon Runners.

The Southern Oregon retail hub manager for First Interstate Bank, he is married and has two sons.

Jackson County Commissioner Bob Strosser said Hoefling’s extensive volunteer efforts, from education to the arts, is impressive.

In addition to its normal work to aid people, this year United Way has taken on the added work of helping people weather the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jackson County tapped United Way to help deliver COVID-19 relief funds.

“It’s been a great partnership,” said Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts.

Commissioner Rick Dyer said the United Way has been a vital cog in efforts to get resources to those struggling in the Rogue Valley.

Also in 2020, United Way launched a fire relief and recovery fund following September wildfires in Jackson County that destroyed thousands of homes. United Way has raised more than $2.7 million for that fund.

For more information about United Way, see unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

Aaron Hoefling helped United Way of Jackson County raise more than $1.25 million this year. Courtesy photo.