August 2021 e-Newsletter
School Supply Drive Exceeds Goal
This summer, we had the goal of collecting and distributing 1,000 backpacks full of school supplies to Waukegan Public School students. It took 90 volunteers more than 180 hours to organize the supplies and pack the backpacks, resulting in nearly 1,500 backpacks distributed!
We are thrilled to have such dedicated supporters who helped us every step of the way—by providing supply and monetary donations as well as volunteering to pack, sort and distribute supplies. The School Supply Drive was a huge community effort, and we couldn’t have done it without their support.
Thank you to everyone who made this very special day a great success! Now more Waukegan Public School students are prepared to start in-person learning this Fall with all the supplies they need.
We are raising funds through August 31 to continue our outreach to assist students in neighboring communities. Learn more here.
211 Lake County has reached 100,000 contacts milestone!
United Way of Lake County’s 211 has reached the 100,000 contacts milestone, demonstrating its vital role in connecting people seeking help and support in Lake County to available resources. In less than two years following its launch, the community has embraced this new service as Lake County’s one-stop shop for help, and awareness continues to grow.
211 is an easy-to-remember, three-digit number that connects people to expert, caring help, including the best local resources. The information and referral service accesses a database of more than 1,500 health and human service organizations serving our community, as well as federal, state and local aid.
211 is multilingual with English and Spanish speaking staff, as well as an interpretation service for over 150 languages. Two-way texting is available in English and Spanish. It’s always open, always confidential, and always free.
Anyone needing help in Lake County can connect to 211 by dialing 2-1-1, texting their zip code to 898211, or visiting the website at 211LakeCounty.org.
Launch a Workplace Giving Campaign
Change doesn’t happen alone. Your organization, large or small, can help us create a stronger Lake County through a United Way workplace campaign. Whether your campaign is virtual or in-person, we’ll provide you with the tools you need to plan, coordinate and implement a successful fundraising campaign.
Celebrate the Second Anniversary of 211 in Lake County
United Way of Lake County is proud to celebrate the second anniversary of 211 services for Lake County. Join with community leaders and stakeholders to learn how 211 has grown to become a lifeline for people across the county seeking help meeting basic needs.
You’ll hear about 211’s measurable impact, data on community-specific needs, and the results we have seen in year two during this critical time of the pandemic. You’ll also hear stories of how 211 has made a real difference for community members, employers, agencies and local government. Marc Jones, Waukegan Township Supervisor, will moderate a panel of local leaders discussing how 211 more efficiently guides people to resources to help improve lives, including a more in-depth discussion on the top needs and solutions to address them.
Help us recognize the incredible support and collaboration of so many individuals, employers, community leaders and partners who have joined with us to bring this vital service to Lake County, and celebrate the results we’ve achieved together.
Now Available: Kindergarten Readiness Calendars
Our bilingual Kindergarten Readiness Calendars are now available! They are free, a great resource for families, designed for preschool-age children and filled with activities to help families get ready for the first day of kindergarten. Many local libraries have these calendars available, so contact your library to see if you can pick one up.
You can also place an order to pick up calendars at our office using our online order form. They come in a box of 50. Indicate what time you would like to pick up your calendars in the “additional comments” section of the form. Pick-ups are available Mondays from 8:30-10:30am & 11:30am-1:30pm or Tuesday-Thursday by appointment only. Pick up at UWLC’s office: 330 S. Greenleaf St, Gurnee, IL.
You can also view and print the monthly pages and activities on our website
Step Up to Women United
We know that bringing new, vibrant members into the fold is the lifeblood of Women United. We want to connect with women who are starting or ramping up their careers or staying home with children, so we launched the Step Up Program.
Women 36 years old and under are eligible to participate in the Step Up Program by incrementally increasing their gift over a three-year period while enjoying membership benefits right away.
KCC Coordinator Spotlight: Stephanie Guadarrama
Here at United Way, we are fortunate to work with some of the most service-oriented and compassionate people. Today, we’d like to spotlight Stephanie Guadarrama, who has helped coordinate Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC), our free summer learning program for incoming kindergarten students with little to no preschool experience. KCC prepares students for a successful start in kindergarten. Students adjust to the classroom setting, practice following directions and rules, and practice key kindergarten skills such as recognizing shapes, letters, counting, and writing their names.
Read on to learn more about KCC and why the program is so important to the children and families involved, all from Stephanie’s perspective.
Company Spotlight: Baxter
Baxter’s Northern Illinois Finance Community recently partnered with us again for a week of volunteer projects, which provided 100 hours of service back into the Lake County community!
United Way coordinated projects with several community partners and Baxter volunteers stepped up to make an incredible impact. Volunteers provided support to COOL Ministries’ Food Pantry and Northern Illinois Food Bank by helping sort and organize food for distribution, they helped beautify the grounds at Lambs Farm, and they assisted GiveNKind with a digital project where they cataloged goods that have been distributed to other area nonprofits.
A huge thank you to all the Baxter volunteers—your impact on Lake County is outstanding!
If you would like to learn more about volunteering with your organization through United Way of Lake County, please contact Bobbi.Selvik@uwlakeco.org.
Intern Spotlight: Eric Jones
We are excited to welcome Eric Jones, our newest intern! We love getting to introduce new people to the work we do at United Way of Lake County. As part of our 211 team, Eric is helping set up a new site on Power BI so that more people can easily access data collected from 211. Learn more about Eric below.
Because Kids Don’t Come With Instructions
United Way of Lake County has partnered with Bright by Text to provide parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age 8 with information on child development plus local events and resources. We encourage you to try out this free service, and you can stop at any time.
When you sign up, you will receive text messages in English or Spanish that are specific to your child’s age and include local community resources targeted by your zip code. Bright by Text messages include research-based content on child development and learning, as well as information about valuable community services and events happening right here in Lake County.
To sign up, text “UWLC” to 274448; or by completing this simple form.