Mark and Sarah Schweitzer Choose 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.
Why do you think it is important to support United Way’s mission?
United Way’s mission is a balanced approach to fill gaps that many of our communities are facing. Having that balanced approach is a critical success factor if we want our community to grow and thrive. While my wife, Sarah, and I have a passion for increased educational opportunities, we cannot just focus on education alone. It is tough for a child to learn if they have inadequate or no housing, limited or no food, and no access to health care. United Way cannot play a role in all those issues given resource constraints; however, their effective leadership of inclusion and collaboration brings other communities, governmental and private organizations together to meet those needs of our community. The need in Lake County is great, and we must use all of the tools in our toolbox to have an impact. In my mind, the mission of United Way embodies the right approach to make it happen.
What inspired you to become involved with United Way of Lake County?
Sarah and I have been supporters of United Way of Lake County for over two decades through donations and volunteer activities. I’ve had the opportunity to see United Way’s programs “live” in the classroom with students in our area, which truly made me understand the value of our United Way. Engaging with the students and seeing the impact brought the value of our support into greater focus. The integrated approach that United Way offers – providing real time/acute support to families but also ensuring support through long-range programs that provide our students and families increased opportunities to gain a brighter future – is key to the successes shown by the involvement of United Way. Seeing the success of United Way’s programs, along with data-driven information showing that every dollar spent in our community has a positive impact on the lives of families struggling to succeed in our county, drove us to become more active in supporting United Way and its mission.
As a board member and current member of the executive committee, it is rewarding to see that our efforts are continuing to have a positive impact on our community. Being part of the team that can increase the reach of United Way in the community is what drives my engagement and involvement. We have so much untapped potential waiting to be released, to do so only takes more resources and commitment.
Which of United Way’s programs do you connect to most and why?
We have a passion for enhancing the tools children use to learn and develop. Sarah and I were blessed with tremendous educational opportunities and learning environments that stimulated critical thinking and creativity. Our parents instilled a passion for reading. They and the teachers and faculty that we were fortunate to have in our educational careers fostered a passion for life-long learning. A strong foundation in reading is so critical in every career that we should be doing whatever we can to ensure all children have the same foundation that will enable them to pursue new and exciting challenges throughout their lives.
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