A snapshot of everything that goes on at United Way

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Julia Lammers

Contributor: Julia Lammers, Marketing and Communications Intern at United Way Fox Cities
 
Hello! My name is Julia Lammers, and this summer, I was a marketing intern at United Way Fox Cities. In the fall, I will continue pursuing a degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Before coming to United Way, I knew little about what they did. I knew that they dealt with nonprofits, so I figured the experience would be helpful in my future. The summer has flown by, but I now understand a bit more about the important role that United Way plays in our community. For anyone who, like me before the internship, isn’t exactly sure what they do, this is my summed up version:

My first understanding of United Way was that they dealt with money; certain people were on staff to help raise it, and others were on staff to help distribute it. However, it is a little more complicated, and refined, than that.

During my first week, the Fox Cities Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Study rolled out. From this, I understood that a lot of research and planning goes into where the money is distributed in the community. Based on this research, United Way funds grants and programs through local nonprofits (called partner agencies). Many qualified community members volunteer their time on committees that choose where the money goes.

In addition to this, United Way has its own programs to fill a need they have found in the community. For example, United Way’s PATH for Students brings mental health services to kids in schools, which breaks down many barriers to care.

I learned where the money comes from after I knew where it went. By helping to pack campaign boxes, I learned how the majority of the funds are raised. Workplaces in the area hold their own campaigns, and United Way provides them with the supplies to do this. Companies often use incentives and fun events to encourage giving.

This is just a snapshot of everything that goes on at United Way. They have a large presence in our community and I urge you to find out more for yourself!