March 2021 e-Newsletter
Celebrating Read Across America Day
In early March, community and corporate volunteer readers gathered virtually to promote the joy of reading with students at East Elementary in Zion, North Elementary in Waukegan, and Pleviak Elementary in Lake Villa. Throughout the week, more than 725 students were introduced to these special guest readers.
Teachers love this interaction because it helps to reinforce reading goals such as increasing attention span, building vocabulary, and strengthening cognitive abilities. This wonderful interaction also allowed students to connect with other adults from the community.
Thank you to all our incredible volunteer readers for sharing their love of reading with these students! Pleviak School created a special thanks to all our wonderful volunteer readers. View that video below. You can also view photos here.
Senator Johnson Interviews Kristi Long
Senator Adriane Johnson interviewed our President & CEO, Kristi Long, about United Way of Lake County’s work in the community and how we’re making an impact through our education programs, 211 helpline, and pandemic relief efforts. We are honored to be featured on Senator Johnson’s first episode of In the District. You can watch the interview on YouTube below or you can listen on Spotify.
Opportunity to Host Early Learning Clubs
Early Learning Clubs (ELCs) are community-led early childhood education workshops designed to help 3 to 5 year old children and their parents be better prepared to start kindergarten. Children and parents receive a variety of free bilingual educational tools and instruction on how to continue using the tools at home.
If you are interested in hosting an ELC at your organization, school, library or club and serve families who reside in Beach Park, Zion, North Chicago, Round Lake or Waukegan, contact Shareny Mota, Success By 6 Initiative Coordinator, at Shareny.Mota@uwlakeco.org or 847-775-1040. For more information about Early Learning Clubs and parent resources, click below.
Wine & Learn About Women United, Virtually
You’re invited to join Women United virtually on Wednesday, April 28 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. to learn how this amazing group of more than 100 women is strengthening the community through philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism. The group is flexible so women can choose their level of involvement and there is a ‘no guilt’ policy because those attracted to Women United are generally very busy people. As donors to United Way, they lead by example to ensure that Lake County’s most vulnerable children are prepared for kindergarten and ready to succeed.
Now is a great time to learn more about this fabulous group and the community-minded women who are involved. To receive the event details, please RSVP to Diana Nielander at Diana.Nielander@uwlakeco.org. Learn more about the event below.
Sign Up for Bright by Text
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 the age of your child 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 clicking below.
We are grateful to the many companies, philanthropies, and more than 650 individuals who have already contributed to our Response & Recovery Fund. Thanks to them, nonprofits on the front lines of the crisis have had more support to address Lake County’s greatest needs.
Since the fund was launched on March 20, 2020, more than one million dollars has been granted swiftly back into the community to 45 nonprofits so they can continue their critical work serving our most vulnerable neighbors.
Our work is not over and there is still a lot of need in the community. You can support the fund by clicking below.
Amanda Gorman, America’s youth poet laureate who captivated so many in the recent Super Bowl and Presidential Inauguration, wrote this poem for United Way last year. Inspired by the work she saw United Way tackling during the pandemic, she titled her poem Live United, to motivate people during dark times. Her words elevate the importance of taking care of each other. She captures the promise, possibility, and potential of galvanizing the caring power of communities.
211 Annual Report
Since its launch in 2019, United Way of Lake County’s 211 has made more than 70,000 connections to help. In case you missed our 211 Annual Report for year one, you can view it below. 211 also regularly releases data on top needs and the populations we serve in Lake County. View all 211 reports here.
9 Ways You Can Help Improve Gender Equity in Lake County
Challenges faced together are often easier to manage. That is true no matter your age or stage in life. Having someone who is by your side to help you face challenges is the power of mentorships! This Women’s History Month, we are celebrating the power of mentoring—in all its forms—to challenge current systems and eliminate inequity and gender bias. Click below for nine ways you can challenge gender bias through mentoring.
Company Spotlight: United Conveyor Corporation
United Conveyor Corporation (UCC) has been a committed and thoughtful partner for two decades. Over this time, UCC employees have donated funds and their time and talent to United Way of Lake County (UWLC) efforts, and this past year was no exception. For example, last fall UWLC was honored to help UCC celebrate their 100th anniversary by hosting a school supply drive. Even with Lake County schools fully remote, school supplies were still a great need of our students. UCC raised over $2,700 and was able to provide school supplies for children in Waukegan schools.
UCC’s support of Lake County families did not stop there. Women United secured a donation of 450 gallons of hand sanitizer to distribute to Waukegan Public Schools and several local nonprofits serving those struggling with basic needs during the pandemic. Women United needed a place to store the 55-gallon drums, a space to fill personal sized containers and prepare for distribution. UCC generously provided warehouse space, expertise and equipment to aid in the effort.
UCC has been a steadfast partner in supporting our work as we address the critical needs of Lake County neighbors and families. We thank them for their dedication to our mission and the families of Lake County. We look forward to partnering for decades to come.
Interested in learning more about starting a United Way campaign at your workplace? Learn more below or contact Dennis Burke at (847) 775-1014 or Dennis.Burke@uwlakeco.org.
Follow Leaders United on LinkedIn
Leaders United—our group for young professionals that creates positive change in Lake County—now has a presence on LinkedIn. Follow their page for invitations to fun events and volunteer opportunities, updates on their work in the community, and much more. Click below to view their social media profiles.
Meet the Staff: Elaine Rezotko and April Ryan
Recently, we welcomed both Elaine Rezotko and April Ryan to our United Way family! We are thrilled to have Elaine as our Resource Development Specialist and April as Executive Assistant to our President & CEO and Women United. Learn more about their roles, what they like to do in their free time, and how they connect with our programs.