During the toughest of times, many people feel the need to talk to someone about what they are going through. Youth and Family Counseling (YFC) provides this balance of quality and affordability to Lake County residents—offering support to adults, children, teens, couples and families in a caring and confidential environment.
When Anne Brandt first started volunteering for YFC after a suggestion from a friend, she wasn’t sure what to expect—but quickly became invested in the organization’s mission to ensure that quality mental health care is available to all, regardless of their ability to pay.
What began as an effort to organize a small cocktail event at a local restaurant, led to the creation of an auxiliary board to support the work of YFC. Over the past five years, the YFC Auxiliary has combined to raise more than $340,000 to support the organization through fundraising events, including its annual gala.
[pullquote]A Q+A with fundraiser, volunteer, self-described “Type A” and community health hero Anne Brandt[/pullquote]
The Chicago Community Trust sat down with Anne to talk more about her commitment to YFC and her community:
Q: What inspires or motivates you to give/do good for others?
A: I am one of those people with a Type-A personality and I can’t sit still. I am so blessed in my own life, so I feel like it is just natural to give back to others; it’s just part of my makeup. Helping others has never been about the money for me, it’s more about the time and the things you do for those people in need. You just feel it in your heart that it is the right thing to do.
Q: How do you think giving creates stronger communities?
A: Since YFC is in my community, I saw the need they had first hand. With that being said, I get to see the impact that the Auxiliary is making in action. When people have that common interest in bettering a part of your community, you can see the difference you are making for those who need it.
Q: What has been your most memorable or impactful moment at YFC?
A: I think the moment that meant the most to me was the YFC gala last year. I have made wonderful friends through this auxiliary and we share many of the same common interests and the same feeling to do good for YFC. This past year we raised close to $141,000. I remember being so thrilled to send that text to the Auxiliary saying, “Look at what we did, girls!” It brought a tear to my eye.
Q: You are a philanthropist—what advice do you have for others who want to do good?
A: I think people need to share more about their philanthropic deeds. Whether at book club, church or just being with your girlfriends, you never know who has a connection that will spark your giving interest. That friend may know someone or a group in need that you wish to help. I am lucky that I have such a wonderful opportunity to contribute—and all I needed to do was talk to a friend.