Posted on behalf of Ghida S. Neukirch, Deputy Village Manager, Village of Buffalo Grove & Northwest Suburban United Way Executive Board Member. I’m like many of you. I work full time, I have two kids, and I try to volunteer to make my community a better place to be. Although summer was wonderful, I’m glad it’s September and my kids are back to school. Learning, exploring and having fun in the process — I like the structured schedule of school. Undoubtedly, it can be challenging to balance marriage, work, kids, and life. I completed what seemed like 1,000 forms for schools and day care, and wrote so many checks I now have to re-order. At parent orientation, we paid for my daughter’s participation in field trips and the teacher spent more time talking about financial assistance than describing the trips that the class would take. Similarly, I spoke to a mom who expressed concern because she wanted to sign up her child for a program at school which cost $12 but wasn’t sure how she was going to pay for it given all of her other expenses. Times are tough. I have volunteered with United Way for more than 16 years because I believe in their mission and know that they are supporting valuable programs. There are people in need all around us — neighbors, friends, family, colleagues, and the person who may be sitting next to my child at school. For me, the greatest thing about United Way is they are providing support for adults, kids, seniors, families and everyone in between. Through LIVE UNITED 2020 United Way will help 50,000 underperforming middle school kids enter high school ready to succeed. We will do this by helping children be prepared to enter kindergarten, through at home visitation programs, and ensure that children have a smooth transition from middle school through high school, through community school programming. I’m blessed to have a wonderful job and an amazing family. For individuals and families that are going through a challenging period, I hope we can all promote that through United Way, there is comfort that every dollar raised is invested into the critical needs of the community — all focusing on education, income & health.
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