Caught in the Act of Giving Back. 

Chestnut Elementary School
“One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” -Unknown

Students from Chestnut Elementary School   in Painesville were busy working toward impacting lives one gumball guess at a time with a fabulous "Gumball Guess" fundraiser benefiting our work. Thank you students!

Below are the lucky winners!
Olon Ricerca Bioscience 
Employees from Olon Ricerca Bioscience of Painesville recently shattered their $10,000 United Way campaign goal! Their team collectively donated a whopping $15,065.32 in support of the work we do to impact the lives of Lake County residents in need. Thank you!
Kirtland High School  
Kirtland High School  students are creative! Over the Thanksgiving holiday they got busy designing, selling and buying Turkey Grams to support our work in the community. Thank you for making a difference!
Mentor High School
Students from Mentor High School help us prepare for our new Cradle to Kindergarten reading initiative.

Giving is living. Student volunteers from  Mentor High School   helped us out by filling hundreds of bags with books for the kickoff of our new Cradle to Kindergarten initiative in partnership with Painesville City Schools. The goal is to increase kindergarten readiness by empowering and engaging low income families with books to improve their child’s literacy development. The program serves families in need by providing guidance and books from a child’s birth through the start of kindergarten. Click here now to learn more about the program.
18,605 lbs. of Food Distributed to Lake County's Hungry in Time for the Holiday
Volunteers from Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers' Lake House load food into the vehicles of nearly 50 food pantries.

On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, we distributed 18,605 pounds of food to nearly 50 Lake County food pantries in time for the holiday. The food was purchased from funds donated during our annual spring Feed Lake County Food Drive and Fundraiser.

A total of 1 in 8 Lake County residents live with food insecurity and inquiries for food rank number one among all inquiries received at Lifeline’s 2-1-1 help hotline and website. Year-to-date inquiries for food are up 14% over last year.

“Due to the opioid crisis, more and more seniors have become the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. And because they live on limited incomes, the food pantries have seen a rise in the number of seniors looking for help to make ends meet,” said Tami Lewis, UWLC Director of Marketing and Communications.

Food distributed included pasta, pasta sauce, mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna, cream of mushroom soup, canned ravioli, green beans, peas, corn, kidney beans, canned fruit, apple sauce, cereal, pancake mix, syrup and apple juice.

Volunteers from Lake-Geauga Recovery Centers’ Lake House were on hand to help load food into the cars and trucks of each food pantry from our Mentor office.

News 5 Cleveland of WEWS-TV and Cleveland 19 News of WOIO-TV both covered the story.

Last year, due to the generosity of donors, we provided local food banks with enough food for nearly 205,000 meals.This year we're on track to provide enough for over 230,000 meals.
According to UWLC President & CEO Jennifer McCarty, “We are focused on fighting hunger in Lake County, where 28,410 residents live with food insecurity. Our ability to help support our community’s food pantries speaks volumes about the generosity of our residents and organizations.”

“Every dollar donated is enough to provide 4 meals, which means a $10 donation will help provide 40 meals to those suffering from hunger. If you are in a position to help this holiday, please visit us online to give ,” said Tami Lewis, UWLC’s Director of Marketing and Communications.

We accept food and monetary donations year-round. Food donations can be dropped off at our offices in Mentor at 9285 Progress Parkway or you may call 440-639-1236 to arrange for a pick up. You may also give online at .
 Make Your Year End Tax-Deductible Donation Today.
As you spend time with your loved ones this holiday and reflect on all of the wonderful moments of the year, we hope you will take time to think about Lake County's most vulnerable residents.

At United Way of Lake County, we help people. But we can't do it without the kindness and generosity of people like you.

Contributions made by December 31, 2018 are tax deductible.  Please help us impact a life today.  Your gift will help provide:

  • Formula for babies
  • Shelter for the homeless
  • Warm meals for our seniors
  • Food for Lake County's hungry
  • Medical care for those without a place to turn
  • A safe haven for those suffering from domestic abuse
  • Mentors and educational support for our children
  • Treatment for those desperate to escape the dark tunnel of addiction
  • And the list goes on....

Donations made in Lake County, stay in Lake County, helping the residents of our community.  Click here now to make your year-end tax deductible contribution .

Your gift of $10, $25, $50, $100 or more will make a real, lasting impact in the lives of those in need.

Please help fill a holiday heart and lift a family's burden this season by adding one more gift to your holiday list. Every dollar donated makes a difference .
P.S.  - When you make a minimum year-end, tax-deductible donation of $52 ($1/week), you'll be entered into our Donor Appreciation Contest for a chance to win your choice of $5,000 CASH or a 2-year lease on a 2019 Chevy Cruz LE (all taxes & fees included!) from Classic Chevrolet! Click here for complete details . Must be 18 years or older. Contest ends February 22, 2019.
“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”
-Oprah Winfrey
Women's Leadership Council Raises a Record $27,760!
Our Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) raised a record $27,760 at their 7th Annual Women's Winterfest & Holiday Food Tasting Fundraiser on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the American-Croatian Lodge.

The event raised more than double the amount raised just three years ago in 2015.

“We had a full room of over 330 women attend this year,” said Women’s Leadership Council Winterfest chair Linda Brentar. “The room was buzzing with energy and excitement and it was heartwarming to see everyone come out in support of women and girls in need.”

According to Amber Thomas of Crossroads, chair of our Women’s Leadership Council, “Our purpose begins by helping females of all ages and backgrounds, from young girls through adulthood and into the senior stages of life. We work hard to positively impact our community, and the funds raised from this event are used to support our grant awards program.”

Over the past four years the WLC has awarded a total of over $85,000 in grants to local non-profits for programs which closely align with their mission.

This year’s Winterfest featured a large Chinese auction, wine pull, door prizes, goody bags and food tastings from local restaurants. Jeremy Verdi, radio personality from Cougar 93.7, was on-hand as the evening’s DJ and entertainment was also provided by local vocalist Erin Burke.

According to Tami Lewis, United Way of Lake County’s Marketing and Communications Director, “The major draw of the evening was the food. Guests enjoyed tastings from 19 area restaurants which included everything from Deep Dish Baked Ziti to Pulled Pork Sliders and Beef Tenderloin Garlic Toast to Sushi, Chicken Paprikash Pierogies, Vegan Mac and “Cheese" and Vegan “Ribs," to Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cake, made to order S’mores on a Stick and a loads more,” said Lewis. “We received a waterfall of compliments from guests wowed by the fantastic spread.”

Participating restaurants included Billy's - A Cappelli Martini Bar, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, BRIM Kitchen + Brewery, CoreLife Eatery, Cakes to You, Dickey's Barbecue Pit, Dubrovnik Garden Restaurant, Eat'n Park, Lure Bistro & Sushi Bar, Manhattan Deli (Mentor), Marion's Mediterranean Restaurant & Tapas Bar, Pastina Rustic Italian, Redhawk Grille, Skye Bistro, SOL, The Cabin of Willowick, The Morehouse, Urban Soul Grille (Vegan) and Yours Truly.

Free chair massages and manicures were available compliments of the Brown Aveda Institute in Mentor, who provided over twenty technicians to pamper guests throughout the evening.

The event was generously sponsored by FirstEnergy, Huntington, Lakeland Community College, The Lubrizol Corporation, The News-Herald and Stanley Steemer.

Interested in becoming a WLC member? For more information, visit , call 440.639.1131 or email
Gayle Sikula Retires after 31 Years of Service.
It was a sad day at United Way as we bid farewell to 31 year employee Gayle Sikula during a December 13, 2018 retirement luncheon held in her honor.

S taff, old and new, came together to celebrate Gayle and the enormous impact her work has had on our community over the years. An outpouring of well wishers also called and stopped in to say their goodbyes to this lovely, gem of a lady.

Gayle's departure has left a void in our office, our hearts and Lake County that can never be replaced. May her retirement bring her much joy and well-deserved relaxation!
Applications Now Being Accepted.
Applications for our 2019 Youth United Way (YUW) program are now being accepted.

YUW of Lake County is an annual youth directed initiative run by our Emerging Leaders (formerly Young Leaders). The program is for high school students interested in developing leadership skills while learning about community needs and volunteer opportunities.

Throughout the program, students engage in site visits to local non-profit agencies where they learn about the services they provide and the clients they serve.

According to Jodi Matsko, United Way of Lake County Resource Development Manager and YUW staff lead, “Students learn about the spirit of service and the importance of giving back. The program provides them with the opportunity to mobilize resources, allocate funds and impact the lives of others right here in their own community.”

Last year, twenty-five students from thirteen local high schools participated in the program. At the end of the program they were tasked with allocating $5,000 in real funds to non-profit agency programs that met the allocation criteria they were taught.

“The program is a real eye-opener for students. Most have no idea that 20,848 Lake County residents live in poverty. The program gives them the opportunity to see how we, along with our partner agencies, work to impact the community and help those in need,” said UWLC President and CEO Jennifer McCarty.

The YUW program takes place over 6 sessions beginning on January 27, 2019 and ending on April 14, 2019. At the end of the program, the students take what they’ve learned and, in collaboration with one another, decide which non-profit programs in Lake County will be awarded grants based on the funds they have to allocate.

Applications, a program schedule, and more information about the YUW program can be found here online . Interested parties may also call 440-639-1236
NO ONE is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.