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United Way Board Spotlight: Madeline Cook

Madeline lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Jeff, and 2 dogs.  A shy Sheltie, Ricky, and a loving chocolate lab mix, Boogaard. Madeline and Jeff both grew up in Eagan, MN, but both wanted to live in Northern Minnesota.  In 2014, Jeff was offered a job in Grand Rapids and have loved living here ever since. In July of 2016, Madeline and Jeff became the new owners of Flowers By Jeannie. When she is not designing at the flower shop, she enjoys spending time with friends outside at the bonfire or at her family’s cabin in Ely, MN.  

What inspired you to be involved with United Way?
I wanted to learn more about our community and where I can make an impact.  I feel the United Way is a wonderful organization that is involved in so many different non-profits that positively impact friends, neighbors, and fellow community members.

What is the most rewarding thing you have taken from this experience?

Community involvement and helping others is extremely important to me.  We have such a vibrant community in Grand Rapids and Itasca County, and it has been so eye-opening to how our United Way impacts so much of it.

What is one word you would use to sum up United Way’s work?
Impactful

What impresses you most about Itasca?

The sense of community and how people will go out of their way to help others.  It is truly inspiring.

What is one thing about United Way that you think most people don’t know?

How diverse and wide their impact spreads.  Before I came on as a Board Member, I had no idea how many different organizations in the county they supported. 

What advice would you give to a potential donor who is considering investing in United Way?
Any donation makes an impact, both financial and through volunteering.  Whether it's a $5 contribution once a month or taking time out of your day to participate in Day of Action to larger contributions and multiple volunteer hours, they all make a positive impact in your community! All you have to do is sign up and show up!