United Way of Will County Celebrates 80 Years of Service to the Community

United Way of Will County Celebrates 80 Years of Service to the Community

United Way of Will County recently reached a major milestone.

On February 1, 2017, the organization celebrated 80 years of service to the community. Today, United Way of Will County funds more than 100 programs provided by 46 not-for-profit organizations that serve the residents of Will County, including Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

In fact, Girl Scouts was one of the original partner agencies going back to 1937.

“We recognize and support the United Way’s mission of uniting communities and resources to empower people and creative positive, sustainable change,” said Nancy Wright, CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. “We’re proud to be one of the partner agencies that receives funding from United Way to change lives.”

To date, United Way has helped impact thousands of girls since the first Will Country troop was formed in 1922 at Farragut School in Joliet with approximately 50 girls. Last year, Will County had 6,282 Girl Scouts and 2,903 adult volunteers.

“We believe in what Girl Scouts is about, the services they provide to young women and how they’re empowering them for the future,” says Michael Hennessy, CEO of United Way of Will County. “It really makes a difference. We’re proud of the mission and we’re really grateful for the support.”

To learn more about United Way of Will County, visit uwwill.org and to get involved in Girl Scouting, visit girlscoutsgcnwi.org.


Local Girl Scouts Honor Famous Alumnae for Women’s History Month

Local Girl Scouts Honor Famous Alumnae for Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, Girl Scouts at Sator Sanchez Elementary School in Joliet, Illinois paid homage to famous Girl Scout alumnae during an after-school performance.

Aranza S., an 11-year-old Girl Scout Junior, presented the biography for Christa McAuliffe, a former Girl Scout and troop leader. She was an astronaut killed in the Space Shuttle Challenge disaster in 1986.

“The thing I like most about being a Girl Scout is that we get to learn about different things,” Aranza said. “I liked learning about Christa because she went to outer space. I’m really into space and like to learn about all the different planets.”

Other famous Girl Scouts honored during the performance included Josephine Groves, who founded the first African-American Girl Scout troop in 1942; Sandra Day O’Connor, retired associate justice of the Supreme Court; and first lady Michelle Obama, the honorary national president of Girl Scouts of the USA.

“I never knew she was a lawyer and a writer,” said Luz M., an 11-year-old Girl Scout Junior, who presented the biography for Obama. “It also surprised me she was born in Chicago.”

During the performance, the girls also thanked United Way of Will County for supporting the GirlSpace program, which serves girls in at-risk communities and seeks to bring the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to life through a variety of curricular areas, including science, technology, engineering and math, financial literacy and healthy living.

“Without the generosity of supporters, such as United Way, we can’t make this program grow,” said Patricia Colin, a GirlSpace facilitator.

Erika Diaz, assistant principal at Sanchez Elementary School, said it’s important for girls to learn about other influential Girl Scouts, especially during Women’s History Month.

“A lot of times, girls don’t hear about women scientists or inventors,” said Diaz, who was a Girl Scout growing up. “They need to feel empowered.”

Lisa Marie Moreno, principal of Sanchez Elementary School who was also a Girl Scout, agreed.

“It’s so necessary for girls to feel confident, have a sense of purpose and learn about giving back to the community,” she said.