Over the course of 2021, we will feature 100 Heroes who have been instrumental in our fight for the basic needs, education and financial stability of our neighbors for the past century. To learn more about how we are continuing to serve the Bluegrass in 2021, click here.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we are excited to feature some women who have played an important role in UWBG. Today we are interviewing Linda Hollembaek, who was a charter member of Women United, served on the Planned Giving Task Force, and has been a longtime supporter of our mission.
What is your role with UWBG?
I was a charter member of Women United and served on the Planned Giving Task Force, where I helped develop the program for people to commit to long-term donations. Being on the task force was interesting, because we got to put together the whole program and figure out where we should take it. I was also very active when I worked at Lexmark and spent a lot of time on things like Lexmark Care Days. One of the things I loved the most was working with the women at the Chrysalis House on the journey to the next phase of their life, including GED tutoring, which was so rewarding and fun.
What did this role include? What would a normal day look like for you?
As a part of the charter council of Women United, we thought about what we as women could do for our community and how we could inspire more women to engage with our activities. Our initial efforts were focused on children from an education perspective. We wanted to make sure that school-aged children got a great start and continued on that path. We did things like drives around Christmastime, coat collections, and a lot of other things to get resources to children in our community who needed it.
When I joined the Planned Giving Task Force, the program wasn’t fully developed. There had been some work done, but it needed more framework and structure to it. We did benchmarking and looked at how other people did it, looked at our own community, and figured out the thought process for this kind of foundation. We then went out and started working with people to commit from a long-term perspective.
What do you think is the most special thing about UWBG?
I think their programming allows people to both connect with each other and connect with the community to make really special things happen for people.
In your opinion, what positive change has UWBG made in the Bluegrass over the past 100 years?
They have developed resources to help people in our community become more self-sufficient. This way, people are able to take care of things they need to do and look forward to the future. Many of UWBG’s partner organizations have made significant impacts in their respective areas. United Way has facilitated connections so that all these organizations collectively contribute to a community that grows stronger every day.
What’s your favorite place in the Bluegrass?
I like the downtown Lexington area. It has evolved over the last 20 years into a vibrant place for people to meet and connect.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bluegrass?
Thank you for being such a strong part of UWBG, Linda! We appreciate you and all that you do.
Do you know someone who has worked alongside United Way of the Bluegrass in the past century who should be considered for our 100 Heroes series? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your nomination!