Voices United

 

Voices United

A United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County Blog

 

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Milwaukee Named My Brother’s Keeper Alliance “Community to Watch”


From left: Mike Peeples, Shannon Reed, and Donovan Hemphill

April 19, 2019

We are proud to announce that Milwaukee was recently named a My Brother’s Keeper Alliance (MBKA) “Community to Watch.”

 

President Barack Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in 2014 to address the persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential.

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Financial Planner Helps Women in Need Become Financially Stable


Mandee Pope (R) and a guest at the 2018 Financial Empowerment Seminar

April 17, 2019

Written by Meghan Marsden Parsche, United Way volunteer blogger

As a financial planner, Mandee Pope partners with high net worth clients to help them reach their financial goals. As a United Way volunteer, she has been able to apply her skills and passion for financial empowerment of women, fulfilling a huge need in the community.

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The Vello Experience


A student reads with a virtual volunteer through Vello.

March 12, 2019

Written by Patrice Burrell, Vello Volunteer

I always loved working with students and supporting them in the classroom. In the past, I volunteered as a classroom assistant and I had been looking for ways to get involved with children in school once again. I was intrigued when I discovered an opportunity to become an online literacy tutor. It was something new and different for me, and the idea of being able to help a child learn to read really spoke to me.

I wanted to learn more.

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SoftwareOne & Technology United Empower Employees to Give Back


SoftareOne employees at a recent volunteer event.

March 8, 2019

Written by Patty Ravencroft, director of people and culture, SoftwareOne

I often think about this quote from our late president and CEO Patrick Winter: “It’s not about work-life balance, it’s about work-life harmony.” Patrick knew that there isn’t a clean line between work and life, but a blending of the two. At SoftwareOne, we want to help our employees lead happy, fulfilling lives both in and out of the workplace.

This philosophy recently inspired a new strategy for our North American business called “Vision 2022.” Within this vision, our executive leadership board decided not only on three business-related pillars, but also on three pillars centered around our people. At SoftwareOne, we don’t make widgets; our entire business is about people. When we focus on our people - current employees, prospective employees, and clients - we become not only more successful in business, but a more successful community.

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Celebrating Black History 365 Days a Year

February 28, 2019

Written by Linda McFerrin, retired Vice President of Resource Development at United Way

February is Black History Month, an opportunity for people to learn about the numerous, significant contributions that Black Americans have made - and are still making - in every aspect of our daily lives.

But Black History Month does not end for me on February 28 -- I try to celebrate it 365 days a year. There are so many things that Black Americans have done to make contributions to our world, things we use every day, things that make our lives easier, and things we take for granted. For example (and thank you to Judge Derek Mosley for sharing this story on Facebook), a Black American woman named Gladys West was part of the original team of engineers who developed the Global Positioning System (GPS), something that is used in every segment of this global society. We would literally be “lost” without Ms. West’s contributions.

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Podcast: The Next Generation

February 26, 2019

Listen Now (00:28:33)

 

Jobs in the technology field are growing, but as these jobs continue to grow, the workforce skilled enough to take these jobs are decreasing. The same can be said for trade jobs.

So how do we build a workforce that is ready to take on these positions? What can we do today to support our next generation?

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Blog Categories
  • IT United
Categories: IT United

Celebrating Incredible Community Members at Annual Meeting


(From left) Jackie Herd-Barber, Ilona Abrahamson, and Vincent Lyles

February 22, 2019

On February 21, 2019, United Way held our Annual Meeting. This event allows donors and stakeholders an opportunity to see how their investment is being put to work in the community.

One of our favorite parts of this event is the presentation of the Gwen T. Jackson Community Service Award, the John A. Puelicher Award for Loaned Executive Excellence, and the Linda McFerrin Award for African American Nonprofit Leadership. Meet this year’s winners!

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Blog Categories
  • Awards
Categories: Awards

Introducing Technology United!

February 15, 2019

Written by John Dunn, VP – Digital Supply Chain, GE Healthcare and Technology United Council Co-chair

It’s official: IT United, the United Way donor network of technology professionals making a difference in our community through giving, volunteerism, and advocacy, will now be known as Technology United.

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Blog Categories
  • IT United
  • Technology United

How United Way Responds to Urgent Needs

February 7, 2019

Written by Nicole Angresano, vice president of Community Impact at United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

When the community needs a hand, United Way is here to help.

In addition to investing year-round in local programs and initiatives, our team at United Way responds to urgent community needs with financial and volunteer support when and where it’s needed most.

When temperatures plummeted well below freezing last week, I reached out to our program partners to determine how we could support their critical work. These are nonprofit agencies that provide a safe, warm bed for individuals with no place to stay; nutritious meals to individuals and families in transition; and so much more.

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Blog Categories
  • ALL
Categories: ALL

Three things I’ve learned about leadership

January 21, 2019

Leading the Way

The recipient of the 2018 Linda McFerrin Award for African American Nonprofit Leadership is Vincent Lyles. Vincent served as the president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee from 2011 to 2018. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee is the largest youth-serving organization in the city of Milwaukee, with more than 750 employees and over 2,000 volunteers.

Cory Nettles of Generation Growth Capital, Inc. and the Chairman of the Board of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County announced the award on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“Vincent Lyles has been among the strongest nonprofit leaders in our community. He did a great job scaling Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee impact in our community, particularly related to programming sites and especially related to the number of kids served each day. He is the perfect recipient of the Linda McFerrin Award for African American Leadership.”

Each year, a nonprofit leader will be selected by United Way’s Diversity Leadership Society and a $5,000 grant will be made by United Way to the organization they represent.

We asked Vincent to share some insights and ideas on being an effective leader.

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Blog Categories
  • Agency Partners
  • Awards
Categories: Agency Partners, Awards

How United Way Staff are Giving Back in 2019

December 31, 2018

As United Way staff, we get to spend every day helping the community, but that doesn’t mean we clock out on giving back when 5 o’clock hits! Looking for creative ideas for how to give back in 2019? Check out some of our resolutions…

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Sharing our Blessings through Year-End Giving


(From left) United Way President Amy Lindner, Board Chair Cory Nettles, and CEO Mary Lou Young.

December 20, 2018

Written by Cory Nettles, Founder and Managing Director of Generation Growth Capital, Inc. and Chairman of the Board for United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.

At United Way, we often hear from our nonprofit partners that winter is a time of incredible need. Between the cold weather and the holidays, many individuals and families in our community could use a helping hand.

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We did it…together!


United Way Board Chair Cory Nettles and Campaign Co-chairs Cristy Garcia-Thomas, David Gay, and Don Layden announce the campaign total.

December 13, 2018

Written by Amy Lindner, President, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Wow.

Looking back on this year, my first with United Way, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Each and every day, I witnessed United Way donors, volunteers, advocates, and staff show up to fight for what really matters: a home for every family, nutritious food for every student, access to healthcare for every expectant mother, and a family-sustaining job for everyone who needs it. It truly brought to life one of my favorite phrases: great things happen when we live United.

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Changes are Coming this Tax Season

November 29, 2018

Written by Crystal Monsivais, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site coordinator, La Casa de Esperanza

Ready or not, here comes tax season! Are you ready? There are new changes to our tax laws that may catch you unprepared. The IRS has a way for you to better prepare yourself and it’s by using their Withholding Calculator.

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Podcast: The Power of Elevating the Voices of Women in Our Community


(From left) Jasmine Johnson, Mary Lou Young, Gail Lione, Jayne Hladio, and Cristy Garcia-Thomas

November 27, 2018

Produced by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Listen Now (00:56:30)

 

On Wednesday, November 7, United Way’s Emerging Leaders and Women United joined forces to present a fall leadership panel featuring notable change-makers in our local community. Panelists discussed the growing power and influence women play as advocates and leaders in the workplace, community, and beyond. Moderator Gail Lione, Dentons, spoke with Cristy Garcia-Thomas, Advocate Aurora Health Care; Jayne Hladio, US Bank; Jasmine Johnson, ManpowerGroup; and Mary Lou Young, United Way on this topic.

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Blog Categories
  • Women's Leadership
Categories: Women's Leadership

We ate…we shopped…now we give back!

November 21, 2018

The Thanksgiving holiday has expanded to so much more than just good food and gratitude with family. Thanksgiving also ushers in the official start to the holiday season, when many people celebrate not only by purchasing gifts for friends and family, but by spreading love and cheer to those in need.

“Giving Tuesday,” the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is a great opportunity to kick off the season on a high note. While the word “giving” may bring a monetary donation to mind, there are lots of other ways to give (though if you’d like to make a donation to United Way this year, click here)!

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How Does United Way Support Veterans?


Happy Veteran's Day and thank you to all who served - and continue to serve - our country.

November 12, 2018

While United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County does not yet directly fund veteran programming, a great deal of the work we do include wrap-around services for military veterans and their families. Our impact areas of Health, Education, and Financial Stability serve the needs often seen in the veteran community, including mental health resources, housing connections and food security. Our funded programs impact over 6,800 local veterans and their families annually.

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At Fill the Freezer, Food is Love


Rebecca Cook (R) and her daughter, Emma, at Fill the Freezer 2018.

October 29, 2018

Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

For Rebecca Cook, a senior attorney at ManpowerGroup, and her daughter Emma, volunteering is a part of life. For the past two years, they have taken part in a fun and delicious project with United Way and both agree it’s one of their all-time volunteering highlights. 

United Way’s Fill the Freezer is an annual event that brings professional chefs and community volunteers together to prepare and pack freezer meals for local families in need. All meals are prepared in one day at MATC’s commercial kitchen, then distributed to family-serving nonprofits like The Cathedral Center, Sojourner Family Peace Center, and others.

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Blog Categories
  • Health
Categories: Health

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a Lifelong Friendship


Lori (L) and Kim love training for races together.

October 23, 2018

Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

When Lori was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, she was most worried about her three kids. After emailing their teachers to let them know about her diagnosis, one wrote back: “Have you heard of ABCD?”

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, or ABCD, is a locally-based nonprofit that provides free, genuinely personal help and support that eases the stress and burden of breast cancer. One of ABCD’s signature programs is the one-to-one mentor match, which pairs those who have a recent breast cancer diagnosis with one or more mentors who have had similar experiences.

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Blog Categories
  • Health
Categories: Health

DVAM: Hope and Healing

October 17, 2018

By Carmen Pitre, Sojourner President and CEO

“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.”
– Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Chances are high that you know someone who has been hurt by domestic violence.  A co-worker, friend, or family member who has been scarred by the hurt and harm that has been caused by someone who promised to love them. 

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity for us all to understand what we can do to help those who have been hurt among us.  During the month of October, we take time to honor survivors, we work to elevate the community conversation about domestic violence and we strive to engage everyone in the hard work of ending violence in our community.  While it happens in our homes, domestic violence sets the stage for violence on our streets, in our neighborhood and in our city.

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Blog Categories
  • Agency Partners
  • Health
Categories: Agency Partners, Health

What are Warrant Withdrawal Wednesdays?


Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley meets with an attendee of the Success Starts Here! Men's Seminar, hosted by United Way and ManpowerGroup.

October 16, 2018

For many people, going to court - even to settle a parking violation - can be incredibly intimidating.

On any Monday through Friday during walk-in hours, people may come to Milwaukee Municipal Court without a scheduled hearing and see a judge. Unfortunately, many people do not do this for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is fear of being arrested. While people in Milwaukee are never arrested for municipal violations, this is not widely known.

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Blog Categories
  • Financial Stability

Waukesha Teacher and Sons Team Up to Support Backpack Coalition


Kara Ecoff and her sons.

October 15, 2018

Written by Meghan Marsden Parsche, United Way volunteer blogger

School supply shopping is an exciting experience, as kids stock up on the essentials that will help them learn and grow in the upcoming school year. But the cost of seemingly simple items like pencils, notebooks, glue sticks and markers can add up quickly. For some students, back to school supplies simply don’t fit in their family’s budget.

As a second grade teacher with Waukesha Public Schools, Kara Ecoff has first-hand experience with the challenges facing students who cannot afford school supplies.

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Blog Categories
  • Education
Categories: Education

“One of the most inspiring events in our community…”


Guests of Project Homeless Connect can access more than 80 services and resources at the annual event.

October 12, 2018

For the past three years, Bekki Schmitt, Information and Outreach coordinator for the Milwaukee County Department on Aging, has manned a resource table at Project Homeless Connect.

“This is one of my favorite outreach events of the year,” reflected Bekki. “We talk to so many people about the services provided by the Department on Aging. Not everyone who comes through is a senior, but there are more older individuals experiencing homelessness than you might think.”

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Blog Categories
  • Financial Stability
  • Homelessness

Podcast: Navigating Senior Living and Care


Pam Foti (L) and Jenny Wagner of Vesta Senior Network

October 11, 2018

Produced by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

Listen Now (00:58:03)

 

There are certain subjects in life that we all need to deal with at one time or another, but are hard to think about and plan for. What to do when a spouse or a loved one needs extra help as they age is one of those topics. What makes this an even less fun conversation is the sheer mind-boggling complexity of the senior care landscape. Acronyms like RCAC, CBRF, ADL, SNF cause confusion, how to pay for senior care causes anxiety, and uncertainty about what a loved one wants and needs and when they will want and need it can result in choice paralysis.

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Blog Categories
  • Health
Categories: Health

DVAM: The Women’s Center Takes Action to End Domestic Violence

October 8, 2018

Written by Angela Mancuso, executive director at The Women's Center

October is here, and with the changing of the season comes an important time: Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).

DVAM, observed every year in October, is an opportunity to come together as a community to talk about these issues, to understand them better, to share our resources, and most importantly, to support and stand with survivors. Domestic violence is a grossly underreported crime that affects thousands in our community. We all have a role to play in breaking the cycle of violence.

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Blog Categories
  • Health
Categories: Health

Mortenson is Building a Stronger Community!


Mortenson volunteers at various projects around the region.

October 4, 2018

Written by Susan Smieja, sr. account manager, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County

As United Way staff members, we get to attend many events at area businesses that support United Way. Some businesses go above and beyond to give their employees opportunities to help their community. Mortenson is one of those companies. They recently kicked off their annual United Way campaign by inviting all staff to breakfast to learn more about the campaign and shared a presentation either in-person or remotely.  Mortenson did a “stand down” for the campaign, so everyone – even those out in the field – could participate in the kickoff.

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Blog Categories
  • Volunteer
  • Workplace Partner

Coordinators Appreciation Week: Family Support and Fresh Food Access at Hopkins Lloyd


Glenn Carson

October 1, 2018

Written by Glenn Carson, community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd Community School.

September 24-28 is Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week! Learn more about the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership and check back here regularly to learn more about the exciting projects going on at Milwaukee’s Community Schools.

This is my fourth year in my position as community school coordinator at Hopkins Lloyd Community School, hired through United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. I work every day to align school partnerships to our school’s goals to better support the success of our students.  The work of a community school coordinator is not as cookie cutter as one would think, we have our hands in various aspects of the school and community.

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Coordinators Appreciation Week: Failure is Not an Option at North Division High School


Lateff Alston (back row, third from left) with the Milwaukee Community School Coordinators team. 

September 28, 2018

Written by Lateff Alston, community school coordinator at North Division High School.

September 24-28 is Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week! Learn more about the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership and check back here all week to learn more about the exciting projects going on at Milwaukee’s Community Schools.

I am Lateff Alston, the new community school coordinator at North Division High School.  I am employed though the Milwaukee Urban League and under the auspices of the United Way. Prior to this wonderful partnership, I worked for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin –Project Ujima as a community liaison for 12 years, serving youth survivors and families impacted by interpersonal violence. I also served as a health educator for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee-Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program for two years, teaching grades 6-12 in several MPS schools, and private schools including Messmer High School, my alma mater. This opportunity also afforded me the chance to teach at the Milwaukee House of Corrections working with their high school population.

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Coordinators Appreciation Week: Connecting the Dots at Longfellow School


Longfellow Community School Coordinator Nestor Muro (L) with local police officers at the school's annual carnival in May.

September 27, 2018

Written by Néstor Muro, employed by Journey House as community school coordinator at Milwaukee’s H.W. Longfellow School.

September 24-28 is Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week! Learn more about the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership and check back here all week to learn more about the exciting projects going on at Milwaukee’s Community Schools.

As the proud community school coordinator at H.W. Longfellow School and as we enter the second year as an official community school, I feel more inspired, determined and committed to work with families, staff, and community partners in support of our efforts to help students and families thrive.

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Coordinators Appreciation Week: Dismantling Barriers and Celebrating Growth at Browning Elementary School

September 24, 2018

Written by Malayia Roper, community school coordinator at Browning Elementary School

September 24-28 is Community School Coordinators Appreciation Week! Learn more about the Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership and check back here all week to learn more about the exciting projects going on at Milwaukee’s Community Schools.

Today, I give our communities and our schools permission to dismantle the barriers. To make it a point to approach, honor, and feel it all. Feel the highs, the lows, the newness, and even the areas of discomfort. To respect our school environments, to trust the process, yet still be bold enough to be transformative in our ideas. To identify community issues in a way that is relevant to all cultures that are represented. To challenge the system. To be intentional. To be willing. To be present.

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© 2019 United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County is a 501(C)(3) Nonprofit registered in the US under EIN: 39-0806190.
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