Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thoughts on Day of Caring, 2012

Last week, more than 750 people from 56 companies participated in the United Way of Lake County’s Day of Caring.
As a (fairly) new staff-person at United Way of Lake County, I did not know what to expect, and I certainly did not expect to feel the way I felt throughout the process, in a good way. Starting at United Way of Lake County last October, I had been through the campaign process. I have relationships with some of the companies and am still learning names and who is involved with us, but there are names that repeatedly come up in conversations around the office. There had been build-up to Day of Caring around the office. We were excited that almost 100 more volunteers and 10 more projects were adopted than the previous year. We were excited for getting people involved, and I was excited to drive around and see what Day of Caring is about, being my first one (though there have been 20 since it started).

My first stop, the project was a dirty one, where multiple companies had provided volunteers to work at Mooreland Mansion in the 90+ degree heat. I walked up to the first group and I immediately noticed the smiles. I took pictures, said ‘thank you,’ and went to the next site. A group of people was helping a senior who needed her house cleaned. Again, the first thing that I noticed were the smiles, from both the volunteers and the recipients. The elderly woman was so incredibly grateful and the volunteers seemed to be as well.

While driving around, I noticed that each site was the same. These people, who typically work in an office or factory, and who already generously donate money, were willing to work in the dust and dirt because they understood that there are seniors who can’t see and are not able to clean their house, that there are libraries and senior centers that are need repairs they are unable to do them themselves, that there are people in their own towns  that are unable to live comfortably, and each of the volunteers performed their tasks with the understanding that they were improving the lives of these people. I visited Birthright, another recipient of volunteers for the day. Birthright helps provide food and clothing for low-income, pregnant women and their children. There was a gentleman there putting an electrical outlet in the warehouse where they sort donations so that they could put a telephone in the back. The head of the organization was almost in tears telling the man how much help having a phone in the warehouse would be because there are only two staff members and this would provide more resources to help them assist more people in need. The gentleman smiled as though working on the wires in a hot warehouse was completely making his day. He was using his own individual talents and skills he most likely used on a daily basis to help an organization that will end up helping numerous people. He is just one example. At each site there were people using their skills to help others.

It was so cool witnessing companies, who already generously donate their money to United Way-funded programs (which is incredibly important), coming together to add another dimension of care to those around them.

Imagine for a moment, that every individual took that attitude, that each individual in Lake County ‘adopted a project’ in our neighborhoods… we see someone whose grass needs cut, we see that a mailbox needs repaired, etc… Imagine if every individual ‘adopted a project’ for those in need. The homeless wouldn’t be as in want, low-income children would have less to worry about, and homebound seniors would get to live a higher-quality of life because we each put some time and our unique gifts into improving their lives.

On behalf of the staff of United Way of Lake County, I want to thank those who took the time to participate in Day of Caring. You truly touched people all over this county. Your efforts spread far and wide that day and will continue to spread.

Lastly, I ask that those reading this attempt a ‘Day of Caring’ attitude with those around them. Please let your eyes be open and your hands be willing to help. It will have a larger impact that you know.

Thank you for reading,

Makella Slavick
Special Projects Associate
United Way of Lake County
*All images by United Way of Lake County

Monday, June 25, 2012

Broadway and Beyond - Tickets starting at $25

We wanted to let you know about a one-time concert in Lake County featuring two stars who have appeared 1,000 times on Broadway in the lead roles of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis.

You'll never have a musical experience like this before unless you're seeing a concert at a New York Playhouse. The concert featuring songs from these plays and others will be 7 p.m. July 14 at Mentor Fine Arts. Tickets start at $25 or $100 for VIP. 

To purchase tickets and choose your seats, go to and look for Broadway and Beyond.

All tickets benefit United Way of Lake County. The concert will sell out so make your order soon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Day of Caring project list is now available

We are looking for more companies or organizations to sign up to volunteer for our 20th Annual Day of Caring which is Wednesday, June 20.

If you or your company/organization are looking to "adopt" a project, contact Nick Carrabine at 440.639.1131 or to get the list of projects still available.  

More than 100 projects were submitted from non-profit organizations and agencies. So far, more than 50 businesses/organizations have signed up for Day of Caring.

How does Day of Caring work?

o    Non-profit organizations submit one-day projects on behalf of clients, people in need and/or organizations with limited resources.

o    Area companies, schools, service clubs and other interested individuals volunteer to "adopt" a project.

o    Agencies and organizations collaborate to procure supplies needed for successful completion of the project. United Way of Lake County is not responsible for supplying materials or supplies for projects.

Projects may be large or small in scale and may involve activities such as landscaping, painting or cleaning. Others may involve social activities such as an outing for nursing home residents, an ice cream social with seniors or a picnic for members of a parenting support group.

Day of Caring offers great benefits for companies and individuals and provides corporate team-building opportunities where you'll see immediate results, develop group work skills, develop camaraderie and friendly competition but more importantly, Day of Caring offers the chance to give back to the community in a tangible way.