The United Way of Greater McHenry County has presented its 2019-20 Trailblazer Award to Follett School Solutions, a worldwide education solutions provider with headquarters on Ridgeview Drive in McHenry. The honor, virtually presented as part of the nonprofit organization’s 2020 Campaign Awards, highlights a local company (or individual) that has helped raise the awareness of United Way to a whole new level.
“Follett has truly stepped up the past three years, growing its campaign from $4,000 to $40,000,” said Carole Peters, Executive Director, United Way of Greater McHenry County. “From pop-up fundraisers offered at all shifts, to hosting team huddles about the valuable services available in our county, Follett diligently focuses on making a difference. They have chosen to do a dollar-for-dollar match of all money raised for United Way. They are blazing a trail for others to follow.”
Follett recently hosted a drive-through diaper drive at its offices and nearly 65,000 free diapers were distributed to community members in need. The company also held an array of fundraisers at its offices throughout the year, including bake sales, book fairs, 2020 calendars, and holiday gift wrapping.
“We may continue to be recognized for our efforts but it never deters us from wanting to do even more the next year,” said Karol Coats, chairperson of Follett School Solutions’ United Way Committee. “This is very much of a team effort as we all pull together to think of new ways we can grow our annual campaign to help our community.”
It is third consecutive year Follett has been singled out as part of the United Way’s awards program. Coats joined co-worker Shari Hoffman in winning the chapter’s 2018-19 Volunteers of the Year Award, while the company also won that year’s Most Innovative Campaign Award. Follett earned the Breakthrough Campaign Award for 2017-18.
Peters said she was impressed with Follett’s willingness to partner from the time she joined the United Way chapter three years ago and added it’s a company-wide commitment from the top down, starting with Britten Follett, Executive Vice President of Follett School Solutions.
“Britten and her amazing team have developed a culture within the company focusing on ‘Community First’ leading the way for others to follow and helping people in their time of need,” Peters said. “Their enthusiasm is contagious; they care deeply about the community, their company and each other.”
Follett School Solutions’ United Way Committee members are: Follett, Coats, Danette Varble, AJ Karolczak, Stephanie Lou, Matt Wilsman, Heather Campbell, Joann Raymond, Dave Bargiel, Jamie Hosford, Shari Hoffman, and Moira Johnson.
United Way of Greater McHenry County unites people and resources to build a stronger community. It supports 33 local nonprofit agencies and helps fund 48 different programs in the areas of education, health and independence.
Thompson Drake Public Relations