Even before that was its name, Bill Lahmann worked with United Way of Thurston County. “As a first-year teacher in the Tumwater School District in 1971, I was asked to be the United Good Neighbor (later called United Way of Thurston County) coordinator for our school’s workplace giving campaign,” he recalls. “Through that experience, I learned about the many ways that United Way helped our community. As a result, I have participated in and, in most cases, served as the coordinator in every place I have worked since then.”
He and his wife Mickey are both proud educators and “have seen the positive impact that United Way funding has had on students and their families,” says Bill. “With United Way’s mission to ‘…mobilize the caring power of our community to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Thurston County,’ we believe it has the right focus to continue having lasting impacts on children and families in our community.”
Bill moved to Tumwater in 1971 and Mickey in 1974. They have lived in Thurston County for more than 40 years and consistently donate their time and resources to United Way. “We have helped connect United Way staff with local school district leadership to discuss programs and support,” says Bill. “Additionally, I served nine years on United Way's Board of Directors, including serving as President of the Board twice. I have also served on Allocation Panels. We feel fortunate to be able to be Leadership Giving Circle level donors.”
Now retired, Bill and Mickey are enjoying their leisure. “After wonderful careers at the local, state and national levels, we are enjoying more free time to spend with our kids and granddaughters,” says Bill. “We like to travel. Highlights have been biking and boat trips in The Netherlands and along the Danube, cycling through six countries. We both love to read and can easily get absorbed in a good book. We like to golf and enjoy spending time at the Long Beach peninsula.”
But they continue to give to United Way in multiple ways. “We strongly believe in giving back to local charities and organizations,” says Bill. “Mickey has served on the boards of several local organizations and is currently President of the Dispute Resolution Center Board of Directors. I have been part of several organizations in Thurston County, including United Way, Rotary, OSD Education Foundation, and Capital Region Educational District 113. We prioritize our giving to both local and national causes.”
Want to give but haven’t taken that all-important first step? The Lahmann’s understand but encourage folks to do whatever they can. “We have many excellent nonprofits in Thurston County that contribute to the quality of life here,” says Bill. “We are amazed at the amount of good these organizations do with their limited resources. That is a major reason why we give our time and money to support them.”
“Take a minute and think about all the organizations and programs UWTC supports,” he continues. “You will find that, at some point, you or a family member will have benefitted from the services or support of one of those organizations. If everybody gives a little, it will add up to a lot, and we can continue supporting what makes our communities in Thurston County special.”
These programs include emergency food and shelter and assistance with housing, bills, or healthcare. They even facilitate free, in-person tax preparation and seasonal assistance for families and individuals in need. Whether you give, advocate, or volunteer, everything helps right here in the community we call home. Take a page from the Lahmann lesson plan and LIVE UNITED every day.