In November 2017, our CEO, Tara Panasewicz shared her view on what giving is. Here is what she said:
Giving is a way to show what one cares about and stands for. To some people it is about tradition, religious beliefs or connection to a personal experience. The reasons people give vary but most importantly, they give from the heart. Whatever the reason may be, the need is enormous. Today, more than ever, our community needs to LIVE UNITED. Those in need of help aren’t just strangers; they are people we know and live amongst in our community. For me, giving back is a way to make our community stronger. I give to United Way of Kenosha County because I am investing in programs that create a healthy, safe, and resilient community. My gift to United Way stays local and supports the work of other nonprofits in Kenosha County.
I am a lifelong resident of Kenosha County, so this community is very important to me. Over the course of my lifetime, I have personally observed a community that has undergone a significant transition, and believe we are in a great position to continue to build upon our recent successes. While doing so, we need to educate ourselves on programs and volunteer opportunities we are passionate about so our community will remain strong for the people that are a part of it.
Your money stays local to help fund programs that support the health, education, and financial stability of our community. United Way of Kenosha County has been in the community for 94 years, and through our experience and knowledge we are able to connect donors to nonprofit organizations. Most local nonprofit organizations have limited marketing and fundraising budgets so United Way provides them additional opportunities to get in front of people to tell their story.
Throughout the many programs United Way of Kenosha County administers, we are able to address critical needs in our community. In the area of education, we are addressing third grade reading proficiency which is a key indicator of High School graduation, by tutoring children at McKinley Elementary School. To address kindergarten readiness, we are working to bring Imagination Library to our community. This program promotes early childhood literacy by giving free age-appropriate books to children from birth to five years of age mailed directly to the child’s home every month.
Nonprofit organizations that we partner with address other critical needs in our community. The Community Fund is made up of your donation dollars which United Way of Kenosha County will use to fund programs that achieve specific, measurable outcomes in the areas of education, health, and financial stability. The distributions of monies from this fund are decided by a group of volunteers that actively engage with the program directors and ensure the funds are being used according to the original grant intent.
My daughter once asked me how we create change. I told her to be the change she wants to see in the world. You might not have the power to change the entire world, but you can change the world for the person you are helping today.