Dennis Burke Chooses United Way of Lake County
Donors and volunteers shared with us why they choose to give to United Way of Lake County. We hope their stories motivate you to continue (or begin!) to choose United Way when you are asked to participate in your workplace giving campaign.
What inspired you to become involved with United Way of Lake County?
I enjoyed a successful career with Abbott Laboratories and spin–off Hospira Worldwide, where community service and support for United Way were simply a part of our culture. I had long been a supporter, albeit from afar, as a contributor as well as serving as a departmental campaign coordinator in multiple locations. I had confidence in my employer’s choice of United Way as an ethical charitable partner that was worthy of their matching contributions, and I was inspired by others to participate.
I was introduced to United Way of Lake County (UWLC) by a former Abbott colleague and a current member of the UWLC Finance Committee – another Abbott-United Way connection! Although I have been a resident of Lake County living in Deerfield for more than 20 years, I had no idea of the depth of need that exists within the region until I met with the leadership team. I was struck by their passion and their commitment to the children and families of Lake County.
Which of United Way’s programs do you connect to most and why?
There is no special program, but rather our overall mission to advocate for basic needs of all Lake County residents that truly resonates with me.
I have learned the fundamental importance of kindergarten readiness as served by our Success By 6 program that truly sets the table for reading at grade level by grade 3, supported by our Reading Success program which then provides students with the tools and abilities to successfully complete high school, further supported by our Stay in School program. Since joining United Way, I have had the privilege of witnessing these programs first hand, and experiencing the joy that these programs bring to children, their families and volunteers alike.
I have also discovered the tremendous value of 2-1-1, our proposed confidential helpline that will connect all residents of Lake County to services. Across the country, individuals of all ethnicities and socioeconomic status connect to 2-1-1 in times of crisis or need. It is inspiring to know that through this service we might help someone find shelter or food for their family, secure resources during a flood or disaster, or even intervene in a mental health crisis. 2-1-1 will be there for all Lake County residents when needed most!
Why do you think it is important to support United Way’s mission?
As a resident of Lake County, I am awe struck by the tremendous need for services that exists within our community. United Way connects the people, programs and resources with those that need them most and produces measurable results that improve Lake County for all who live and work here.
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