What I learned this week

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Brandon Lepp, United Way Fox Cities Emerging Leader

Contributor: Brandon Lepp, Branch Manager BMO Harris Bank and United Way Fox Cities Emerging Leader

On Tuesday, I learned that there are a lot of needs in our community, but also a lot of services doing amazing work. My name is Brandon Lepp. I’m a branch manager at BMO Harris Bank in Neenah, where I reside with my wife and two kids. I am participating in Leadership Fox Cities (LFC) class of 2016 - 2017, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce. LFC is a great opportunity for me and other leaders in the area to be exposed to our community in a new way.

This week, Leadership Fox Cities hosted a day that focused on human services. We learned about research projects, like the Fox Cities LIFE Study and United Way’s ALICE project, which highlight issues people are struggling with on a daily basis. We heard from United Way 2-1-1, a phone number anyone can call, any time of day to get connected to health and human services. I also learned how many services are offered by our county. And, from our visit to the Salvation Army, that there are places for people in need to get a hot meal every day.

My biggest impression from the day came from getting to hear personal stories. The stories touched me right away because it made me realize that people right in our neighborhoods might be struggling. Lisa Smith, United Way 2-1-1 Manager, shared many stories and played part of a phone call that was answered by 2-1-1. I had goosebumps listening to the woman’s phone conversation and hearing how much hope she had by the end of the call.

I am involved in United Way Fox Cities as an Emerging Leader, but learning all day about human services made me reflect. I had to asked myself, “How can I give more, how can I advocate so that people know about where they can get help, how can I volunteer more?” My family and I are not currently experiencing the pain that some families are, so what am I doing to help others?

I hope you join me in asking how you can give back to our incredible community.