Speak United Blog

The Changemakers: Corporate Volunteers Strengthen Community Ties

In a large warehouse just south of McKinley Park, Anthony Lighthall and his colleagues at National Futures Association (NFA) prepared for a busy day of community service.  Outside of his human resources role at NFA, Anthony leads the company’s workplace campaign. He encourages his fellow employees to support United Way and facilitates… Read more »

Blue Cap Pantry Brings Fresh Goods to a Food Desert  

On a sunny Tuesday in March, Deborah Shirley, a caretaker living in Robbins, took a break from her daily duties to pick up groceries for her and her mother. But, unfortunately for her and her neighbors, there are no quality grocery stores within the city limits. In addition to living in an… Read more »

Bronzeville Builds Pipeline for Youth Employment

Despite its great cultural and economic contributions to Chicago, Bronzeville is still recovering from decades of divestment. To address the existing inequities, a local non-profit is making long-term plans to revitalize the community through its workforce. To spur lasting change, Bright Star Community Outreach invests in Bronzeville’s future —  its youth. By expanding… Read more »

International Women’s Day 2019

Year-round, women in our community and the United Way network empower others and inspire change. Some create pathways to leadership in their companies, while others organize their neighbors to build stronger neighborhoods. No matter their contribution, all do so in the service of their community. Today, on International Women's Day, we celebrate… Read more »

Pre-K Students Craft Healthy Behaviors Through Arts Education

When Jan Ellenstein teaches Evanston youth to paint ocean scenes with acrylics or draw cityscapes with pastels, she isn’t hoping for masterpieces. She’s hoping the young learners will acquire the confidence to see themselves as artists, no matter their skill level.Jan, the lead children and youth facilitator at Open Studio Project… Read more »

Tax Assistance Gives Workers Ladder Up to a Brighter Future

Our partners are currently recruiting volunteers to assist with the 2019 tax season. Help your neighbors pocket their hard-earned money! While we all hope that the worst of the winter weather will soon dissipate, another, often more dreaded, season of the year is upon us -- tax season.For most people, the process… Read more »

La Casa Norte Gives Unhoused Youth a Place to Call Home

As temperatures across the region plunged to lethal levels last week, most Chicagoans retreated to the safety of their homes. But for many across the region, such an option is a luxury.In Cook County, it’s estimated that 80,000 to 125,000 individuals are homeless, including thousands of youth and young adults who live… Read more »