Live United: Chris Darbee
For most of Chris Darbee’s childhood, poverty was an everyday reality. Chris grew up in San Bernardino, a stark city with one of the lowest educational attainment rates and the highest crime rates in California. On his way to school, Chris passed by abandoned buildings and neighbors barely making ends meet. “If this is all you know, you never realize that life is different. The only thing you understand is what’s in front of you,” describes Chris.
Fortunately, Chris was able to break out of the challenges of his boyhood and bring positive initiatives into the Inland Empire. His work at 211, which is housed and partnered with Inland Empire United Way, brings help to those who need it most.
Changing Lives with 211
Like many people raised in lower-income neighborhoods, Chris went straight to work after high school. When he did decide which career to pursue, the choice reflected his desire to help people from his community. “My time as a football player in high school got me interested in the NFL. They have a partnership with United Way called Play 60,” explained Chris.
Play 60 is a program that gives kids the tools and support they need to build healthier minds and bodies, something that directly relates to Chris’s career. His position as Operations Supervisor at 211 involves managing a team of dedicated staff and improving how 211 operates.
How Chris Lives United
Chris’s experience with poverty made him sensitive to the needs of people in San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire at large. With the knowledge of people’s day-to-day existence, Chris helps create a stronger community support system for people in need.
Chris holds the Live United ideals close to his heart by continuing work long after he has left the office. “Compassion and integrity should be a way of life—not just in our work at 211, but when we leave,” he advises.
Looking for opportunities to give back? Click here to find opportunities to contribute to Inland Empire United Way.