YLS Spotlight: Christine Heim

Christine Heim brings a unique perspective to her role as a member of the YLS communications committee. Christine is a former full-time employee of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and now works at the American Red Cross, a United Way funded agency. Read on to learn more about her thoughts on YLS, the Red Cross and her passion for all sports at the University of Iowa.   Why did you join YLS, and what is your current role with YLS?  I joined YLS as a communications committee member in July after I left my full-time position at United Way. I wanted to continue to stay involved with the organization and meet new people, and I knew YLS would be a great way for me to do that. There are so many good nonprofit opportunities. What makes YLS the right option for you?  YLS is one of the best non-profit groups that I’ve been a part of for young professionals. The variety of opportunities to give back, network and grow professionally offers something for everyone. I also love the United Way staff involved in YLS — they’re a great group! What is it like working at the Red Cross, a United Way funded agency?  The American Red Cross is an amazing organization, dedicated to its mission and serving our community. There’s never a dull moment working at an organization that helps during disaster. In Chicago alone, we respond to about 3-4 fires every day, so even when you don’t hear about a disaster, we’re helping. It’s great to be a small piece of the difference. What would you say to someone interested in joining YLS?  Do it! There are many opportunities to get involved in ways that are meaningful to you, and meet like-minded, philanthropic people. There’s something for everyone in YLS. You won’t be disappointed. What was your favorite YLS/or United Way events?  I went to a fundraiser for YLS last year at MillerCoors’ exclusive rooftop pub. They had lots of games, good food and prizes to win on behalf of United Way. Many people came, donated and had fun. It was a great time! Now, some fun questions. What is your favorite movie?When Harry Met Sally Favorite TV show?  Old school: Golden Girls. New School: Modern Family Favorite book?  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Best concert you have attended?  Jack Johnson at Alpine Valley What are your IPOD favorites?American Girl, Tom Petty, Anything by Hootie and the Blowfish, 3 names: Whitney, Celine and Mariah. What are your biggest hobbies?  Playing and watching sports — especially the Hawkeyes!; spending time with friends; doing puzzles Christine Heim YLS Communications Committee Member &  Digital Engagement Associate,  Greater Chicago Red Cross

YLS Volunteers Join the Club

By Bob Gosman, YLS Communications Chair, Public Communications Inc. At 6-foot-4, YLS volunteer committee member Tyler Guth is used to having people look up at him. His height, though, has never been much of an asset when he’s playing hoops. “I’ve always been tall but terrible at basketball,” he said. Not to the kids in the Off The Street Club. Guth and a group of YLS members volunteered their time and spent the evening with the kids Oct. 20 as part of the Third Thursday program. Activities included pumpkin carving, board games and yes, basketball. “The elementary school kids thought I was actually good at basketball,” Guth said with a big smile. “Most fun game I’ve ever played in.” The YLS members and the rest of the volunteers are treated like rock stars from the second they exit the bus. Off The Street Club, the city’s oldest boys and girls club, has been dedicated to improving children’s lives in West Garfield for more than 110 years. The Off The Street Club Kids run up to the bus and give hugs to everyone. Then, they are bursting with excitement to begin the night’s activities. “They really appreciate having someone take an interest in their lives,” Guth said. “It’s a chance to make a pretty big impression on someone in one day and they certainly make a big impression on you.” Since this opportunity takes place once a month, it gives YLS members busy on the weekends a chance to volunteer during the week. On the way back to Michigan Ave., the bus drops people off at both train stations. “This is a great group of kids,” Guth said. “It can really get you hooked on volunteering.” The next opportunity with Off The Street Club is Nov. 17.  Click here  for more details.

Rocking out the YLS Year

By: Paul Pabst, YLS Member Development Chair The 2011 United Way Young Leader’s Society Rock Star event was graciously hosted at the trendy, private lounge Star Bar Lounge, located in the Leo Burnett building downtown. It was a very uplifting experience being in a room with so many charitable young activists. Throughout the evening many people shared their anecdotal stories of their past volunteering and many thanks were given out. After some time to chat, YLS Director Joe Jerz took the microphone and provided the group with some great news on the YLS goals for 2010. We had exceeded all of our membership development, volunteer hours and campaign contribution goals for the year. It was a great accomplishment and one that everyone in the room (and beyond) had worked to achieve. One of the highlights of the night, the presentation of the Rock Star award, was given to Luke Newcomb for his extensive efforts towards the ‘Off the Street’ project and the Cabrini Green tutoring program. A second major award of appreciation was given to Kelly O’Brien, the 2010/2011 YLS Chair, for her major contributions over the past year as the leader of the YLS Executive Committee. Kelly also passed the torch onto our incoming Chair, Angie Zavala, who was very enthusiastic and excited to take on the role. The final awards were given to ALL of the YLS committee members, 35 in all, for their efforts on the committees. All in all, the evening incorporated many acts of appreciation and thank you’s. One can’t help but smile when in a room with such kind-hearted people. It is something that attracted me to this organization in the first place and keeps me coming back year after year. The active community of YLS is an incredibly inspirational group, and I always find myself asking people more and more about what community projects they have done, what they are doing, and what they plan on doing in the future. It drives me to be more involved, and also helps me realize that there are many other people out there that want to help too. I am excited for what YLS has done so far and even more excited to see what YLS will become in the near (and distant) future! View Photos