LIFT Annual Report 2012: oneLIFT - Page 27

An upLIFTing Investment Caroline Degenaars has a message for individuals considering supporting LIFT. When I was introduced to LIFT (then National Student Partnerships) in 1999 by Brian Kreiter and Kirsten Lodal, I knew they were on to something. Of those early encounters, I remember being impressed by these emerging social entrepreneurs. It was not long before I realized I had to stay connected. Over the years, I’ve been on a variety of host committees and advisory boards and today I am humbled to be serving on the Local Board as well as Co-Chairing LIFT-Chicago’s annual benefit. I was recently asked why I’ve not only given financially, but also of my time. As I reflected on that, I’ve realized that for me this is not work or a favor, this is an opportunity to share with my like minded friends an organization that I believe is extraordinary in its mission and tireless in its quest. Supporting LIFT just makes sense. It’s a good investment. Your dollars go a long, long way not only in helping our most vulnerable neighbors CAROLINE DEGENAARS LIFT-CHICAGO access much desired support, but also to cultivate a generation of future leaders in the fight against poverty. By supporting LIFT, you are investing in men and women that go on to make their LIFT experience the foundation for their lifework. I’ve never seen an organization more fiscally responsible, or one that works harder to earn the trust of their donors. The effusive gratitude expressed on a daily basis for helping LIFT to help others is endless. It’s beyond a pleasure to support their efforts and to see--truly see--my donation at work. I’m not only happy to donate, I’m proud to be called a LIFTer. As a mother of three, I connect my relationship with LIFT to watching my boys grow. I’ve watched this baby develop from an infant, to the shaky stages of toddlerhood, to ready-to-launch maturity with endless hope and possibility. It’s exciting to be a part of that. To experience the successes and to witness the work-through of setbacks is in some ways similar to parenting. You come to love and invest in ways that you can’t just turn off. I am a better person for having had that opportunity. “I LIFT for the men and women who courageously get up every morning and face each day not knowing if they’ll make it to the next. I LIFT for the young students who rather than socializing and making light of their collegiate experiences, devote countless hours to the betterment of discouraged lives.” I en