Merger creates stronger base for serving communities

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on September 01, 2021 with No Comments

Stronger together is what comes to mind when I think of the recently announced merger of the Lake Area United Way and United Way of Porter County.

The nonprofit organizations have both served the region through services for those community members facing challenges. Both nonprofits have focused on connecting families and individuals to vital services while also igniting the strong volunteer spirit in the region.

The new name – United Way of Northwest Indiana – really says it all as our communities are close and interconnected in a myriad of ways.

“Pooling resources as a single organization will allow for the expansion of services across the Region which will help more people thrive,” said Michael J. Jasaitis, current board chairman of Lake Area United Way, in a release. 

The goal of the merger is to provide another level of service through expanded programming and a more streamlined giving experience. The merger was launched after the former Lake Area United Way CEO Lisa Daugherty left for another role.

“We are always evaluating how we can better support the community,” said Ron Donahue, board chair of United Way of Porter County, in a release. “Our organizations have always worked closely together to serve Northwest Indiana, but when the opportunity to explore combining forces became available, we knew we had to make it happen.”

While the logistics are still being worked out, we are looking forward to what this new chapter means to so many here in our region!

More than just a day

It was so great to see so many out and about on the recent Day of Caring! More than 530 volunteers were able to tackle 56 projects for nonprofits. The day always shines a light on the needs of our region organizations that may need assistance with getting tasks complete.

Many projects were in-person this year and included landscaping, painting, cleaning and building. There were also donation and collection drives completed.

If you were unable to participate in the Day of Caring or you enjoyed it so much that you hope to do more, remember that there are always opportunities to get involved year-round. 

The Northwest Indiana Regional Volunteer Center is a one-stop spot for all of our region nonprofits to list what they need help with. There are many organizations still in need of individuals to lend a helping hand.

From delivering food to seniors to working with children facing grief, you will find many avenues to make a difference in someone’s life.

Visit www.nwivolunteer.org/need for opportunities. 

Join our team

As a reminder, we are searching for new bus drivers! We are hiring full-time positions to help us transport seniors and the disabled to their doctor’s appointments and errands. A chauffer’s license is need, and a knowledge of Porter County roads is helpful to this role.

We know that there are many job positions open in the community, and we would be honored with anyone who would join our team and help us fulfill our mission to lend a helping hand to those in our community. 

Our transportation program has always been an integral part of our offerings and how we serve our Porter County residents. We strive to offer as many rides as possible, but we could not do it without our bus drivers!

To apply, call 219-464-9736.

Bruce Lindner has worked in the non-profit world for more than 35 years and for the past 12 years has been serving as the executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services. A native of the region, he was raised in Portage, and he graduated from Valparaiso University and Indiana University. For more information, contact him directly at 219-465-7144 or email at bhlindner@portercountyacs.org. 

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About Bruce Lindner

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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