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.
Pictured: Jim Stolzenbach reading a Dr. Seuss book to students at Glen Flora Elementary School on Read Across America Day (March 2, 2018).
What inspired you to become involved with United Way of Lake County?
I first learned about United Way through the employee giving campaign at Abbott Laboratories and then at AbbVie. The ability to contribute to a deserving charity through a convenient payroll deduction seemed like an excellent way to support deserving organizations. Before joining the giving campaign, I conducted some research on the participating charities. United Way quickly rose to the top of my list. I was interested in United Way because it was a charity working in our local area, ensuring that any contributions would benefit communities near me. Also very important to me was the focus of the organization on educational opportunities for children in need and support for their families. As I became more familiar with the organization, I also wanted to commit some of my time to support its programs.
What aspect of United Way’s work do you connect most with and why?
I support all of United Way’s programs but the one I feel the most passionate about is the effort to ensure that young children in our community learn how to read even if they are economically disadvantaged. Reading has always been a great source of learning and enjoyment for me as long as I can remember. It’s a skill that lasts throughout one’s lifetime. One of the great things about reading is that it can be shared with others. I fondly recall reading to my children when they were young and still appreciate knowing they enjoy reading as adults. Reading is the point of entry for any educational effort and is a fundamental skill essential for being a successful citizen. I enjoy participating in United Way’s reading programs for children because I think it is important for every child to achieve high-level reading skills. I also think it’s fun to read to a classroom and to enjoy the book with the children. I believe that if we can encourage children in our community to read, we can help them on their way to be better citizens able to contribute to our society.
Why do you think it is important to support United Way’s mission?
I believe United Way’s mission should be supported because of the focus on our local community and the long-term commitment to help disadvantaged children and families. I am very confident that the contributions I give to United Way are dedicated to assisting families in need in Lake County. The focus on education is important because it allows those receiving assistance to ultimately take control of their own destinies. I am afraid that without organizations like United Way many of these families and children would not be able to compete in our society successfully.
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