Young Professionals 2 Follow: Mandy Sims helps unite her community
Mandy Sims’ job has a global focus, but her real passion is local.
As the operations manager for UPS Trade Management Services, Sims helps large, international customers export and import good and products around the world. Locally, she focuses on her community, giving much of her time and energy to volunteer with service organizations, especially the United Way of Aiken County.
Sims said she donated to the United Way’s annual giving campaign when she started working at UPS 16 years ago. But she wanted to really understand what the United Way, a coalition of charitable organizations that pools efforts in fundraising to support community service providers, does.
“I got involved just a little bit, but after you learn a little bit, you get involved a little bit more,” Sims said.
Sims worked on the United Way’s Communications Committee and chaired the Young Philanthropist Society. She has been a board member for many years and currently is on the Women’s Leadership Council Steering Committee.
“I’ve had my hands in most things United Way,” Sims said. “I’m able to touch every part of our community through the United Way – senior citizens, children. It spans the gamut. The United Way is my passion.”
Sims also works with Habitat for Humanity and is on the Family Selection Committee.
“It offers people a step up, gets them on their feet and helps give them a fresh start,” she said.
Sims said giving to others “keeps me grounded.”
“A lot of time you’ll get caught up in the little things that might stress you out or you think your might have been bad, but they’re really not that bad,” she said. “With Habitat, for example, I can go on a home visit, and it grounds me completely for a very long time. Nothing in my life is as stressful as some of the things those families are facing. It keeps my life in perspective.”
And Sims’s hands-on work with the United Way and Habitat makes her an ambassador for the organizations when she talks with co-workers about how they benefit the Aiken community.
“I can speak from experience, not just from a script,” she said. “I’ve lived it, been there and seen it.”
Sims’ dedication to her community comes naturally.
She was born and raised here. She and her husband, Lee, who also is a 2018 Young Professional 2 Follow, are rearing their children, Baylee and Barrett, here, too.
“As I look back, I have been able to grow up here, go to school, go to college, get a master’s degree, get a good job, have a family, and I never had to leave,” said Sims, 39. “That’s kind of neat.”