Recently, United Way of Lake County welcomed seven new members to their Board of Directors. We will be highlighting each of the new members on our blog. First up, hear from Kate Collins about why she decided to join the Board.
What inspired you to become involved with United Way of Lake County?
I grew up in a community that was far more likely to be the recipient of charity than the donor. I simply wasn’t exposed to philanthropy at an early age. It wasn’t until I joined Abbott and began to participate in Abbott’s Employee Giving Campaign (ECG) that I started to understand the importance of giving back. Abbott’s EGC began as a United Way campaign and, to this day, United Way remains a very important component of our campaign. As I became increasingly involved in our corporate campaign, I became more familiar with United Way and the many ways the lives of so many of my neighbors in Lake County have been improved by this organization.
What aspect of United Way’s work do you connect most with and why?
I think it’s the inclusivity of United Way’s approach that I value most. Many charities target very specific needs. United Way, on the other hand, targets whole communities. United Way of Lake County works with dozens of community partners and funds programs that promote healthy early childhood development and empower families throughout Beach Park, North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan and Zion. Broad-based community support with measurable outcomes is hard to beat. I guess I’m a utilitarian at heart.
Why do you think it is important to support United Way’s mission?
Of course, there is a world of need and many ways to provide support, but starting with the health and welfare of our local communities feels right to me. My company operates globally and I have the good fortune to work with colleagues and customers in over 100 countries, but I never want to lose sight of the needs of those closest to home.
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