A Letter to Lake County -- Why Generosity Matters

Maggie Morales
Updated 11/18/2019 10:23 AM

Last spring, I began my new position as Executive Director of The Lake County Community Foundation (LCCF), inspired by the incredible diversity of the communities we have and motivated by the generosity of so many people working tirelessly to improve life for everyone in our county.

There is so much to love in Lake County -- our beautiful parks, incredible family owned eateries and local businesses, wonderful cultural events and, of course, the gorgeous lakefront. But what I've always appreciated most is the sense of community I have felt, regardless of whether "home" was Great Lakes Naval Base, North Chicago, Gurnee or Waukegan. As a longtime Waukegan resident and now raising my own young family here, I feel confident in saying Lake County is a community of givers. In my role at the Foundation, I have the privilege of witnessing firsthand how people in our communities come together to help one another by giving of their resources, creativity and heart.


As I think about examples of how people have worked together to make lasting change in our communities, the thread that connects all of them is generosity. Good comes from giving--no matter what you give. Giving in any form means that you value your neighbors and your community and are taking action to make it a better place.

In our 2019 grant cycle, we received almost 60 grant proposals--more than twice what we receive in a typical year. This reinforced what a critical time it is, not only to think about generosity, but also to act as we are witnessing an increased need throughout Lake County. Together, we can respond to this need and make real change in our communities. Curious about how to get started? Here are a few small ways to start making a big impact:

Subscribe to our quarterly e-newsletter and LIKE our Facebook page where you can learn about our partners and connect to a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Become a member of our Love Where You Live Club. Our monthly giving program enables you to make a significant local impact through the power of collective giving. Your gift improves the quality of life of our most vulnerable neighbors by supporting our nonprofit partners in addressing basic needs.

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Join the conversation! To help start this important dialogue about how generosity impacts our communities, LCCF, in partnership with University Center and College of Lake County, will host a community conversation on Jan. 16 with author, Paul Schmitz who will talk about his book, Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up. In addition to a book signing and meet and greet, we will offer a volunteer fair so you can immediately connect with local nonprofits to explore opportunities for how you can use your generosity to make a difference right here at home. To learn more about this event and to register, please go to https://www.lakecountycf.org.

Need more inspiration or guidance on how to begin your generosity journey in Lake County? Reach out to us! LCCF is here to help you. You see, the beauty of community foundations is that we focus on one place, so all of our resources, energy and thought leadership are committed to serving you-- Lake County.

With Gratitude,

Maggie Morales

Executive Director, The Lake County Community Foundation