Reaching Out to Businesses in Waukegan

March 22, 2012
Mary Claire Schmit Uniting America AmeriCorps Fellow


This week Kathleen and I attended a Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Waukegan. We had the opportunity to talk to a variety of different business people present at the meeting and explain to them what we were doing as Uniting America and the different ways they could get involved. On the whole, people were very receptive about what we are doing and were excited about the different volunteer opportunities in their community that are available to their coworkers and employees. As it was one of my first times going out to speak to businesses, it was exciting to hear their enthusiasm and want to engage in volunteerism and give back to their communities.  

Following the luncheon, Kathleen and I drove to downtown Waukegan and met with a coffee shop owner to talk with him about the Uniting America businesses partnership. Despite not having a meeting set up, he sat down with us for almost an hour and gave us a lot of valuable insight into how businesses operate and how to go about forming partnerships and engaging the business community in the work we are doing. 

After talking to so many people who were interested in Uniting America and willing to lend a hand, I left Waukegan that day feeling energized by the potential that the program has to really connect with different parts of the community.