“It Can Mean So Much”: Meet Varsity Letter in Community Service Awardee Alivia Garnatz 

Smiling white high school girl in a white sweater


Alivia Garnatz, a rising senior at Stewartville High School, is deeply involved in her community. She volunteers at a variety of local organizations through her church, the Girl Scouts, Key Club, and National Honor Society. She received her third Varsity Letter in Community Service, after volunteering nearly 200 hours between March 2023 and February 2024. 

“Meals on Wheels is something I just tried this year,” Alivia shared. “Going to the doors, dropping off the meals, seeing their faces has meant a lot to me. I don't think they get a lot of company throughout the day. Not all the activities that I'm involved in let me directly see the impact on other people, but it's really cool to see when I do get that chance.”

"If I can brighten someone's day, even if it's one person, it means a lot."

She also helped with bounce houses and a bike rodeo for elementary aged kids, set up a traveling art show with the art teachers – “So, that was kind of cool to organize the different pictures and pieces on the walls,” she added. 

Over her years of volunteering, Alivia has come to learn more not only about her community, but also about herself. “I’m very fortunate in the way that I spend my time with my family, and with my lifestyle,” she said. “I've realized not everyone else has the same privileges as me. There are a lot more less fortunate people out there than I thought there were, and it feels good to help.”  

She plans on continuing to help in the future – earning another Varsity Letter in Community Service next year, and continuing to serve her community in college, wherever she ends up. “I want to continue finding those opportunities where I can be an impact in someone else's life and in other communities,” Alivia shared. 

“If I can brighten someone's day, even if it's one person, it means a lot. I feel like I'm doing something so simple in my own life, but it can mean so much for somebody else who doesn't have the privileges that I do.”



About United Way of Olmsted County 

United Way of Olmsted County (UWOC) is a community change organization with the mission to unite people and resources to improve lives in our community. 

We fight for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community in a variety of ways: we collaborate with local organizations, businesses, and community leaders to mobilize their expertise and resources; we accelerate impact by strengthening systems and cultivating leaders to build a community where all people can thrive, regardless of race or place; and we participate in a collective effort that empowers local residents to create lasting transformations in their own communities through our focus on community-driven change. 


Adele McLees 

Communications Coordinator 

United Way of Olmsted County