(Photo by Shaylea Rhoads, Blue Cardinal Photography by Colortech Creative Solutions)

Lebanon native Julia Krall is a couple months into her new role as executive director of the United Way of Lebanon County.

A Lebanon High School and Juniata College graduate, Krall completed an MBA at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and worked in fundraising roles for various nonprofit organizations prior to beginning the UWLC role in September.

Krall joined the organization right as it was beginning its 2021-22 campaign, with a total campaign fundraising goal of $1 million. (Interested in donating to the campaign? Start here.)

In her capacity as executive director, Krall is responsible for overall strategy in the organization’s fight for the health, education, and financial stability of county residents. LebTown touched base with Krall to kick off our new Five Questions series.

What was your path into the executive director position with the United Way?

I have been very fortunate to work for some amazing nonprofit organizations throughout my career, that now spans two decades!

I have held leadership roles in organizations in the environmental, academic, conservation, and tourism industries, and I am very excited to bring my skills and experience in nonprofit management and philanthropy back home to the county where I was born and raised. Having such a diverse experience made United Way feel like a natural fit.

The organization excels at understanding the needs of our community, and bringing together other nonprofit agencies, businesses, and community members to address these complex challenges. 

What has it been like to take the ED job and turn around immediately to launch the annual campaign?

Very exciting and inspiring! I have had the opportunity to speak with so many supporters of United Way of Lebanon County in my first few weeks on the job, as part of the campaign launch.

The responses that people give for supporting the organization, and the campaign, are so vast and personal. It just shows how great of an impact we can have when we LIVE UNITED! It truly is transformational to see how a community that comes together can do so much more than any of us can as individuals.

I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of strengthening the future of the local communities that we all love so much.  

What UWLC work do you hope to see continue to thrive? What are you hoping to add to the mix?

United Way of Lebanon County does so many great things. Our 2-1-1 program connects community members to expert, caring, confidential, and local resources for meeting basic needs like housing, food, transportation, and health care. This program is continuing to evolve and thanks to our additional investment this year, will be adding bilingual staff to respond specifically to calls from Lebanon County residents.

And we have already awarded $185,000 in Family Stability grants to directly support critical and immediate need programs within our communities. We have also committed to expanding our Community Schools program in the county to help address challenges that are inhibiting students from reaching their full potential.

I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to bring resources together that will strengthen the work within our communities and build partnerships that can develop solutions best suited for Lebanon County residents and families. 

This year’s capital campaign hopes to raise $1 million. How might LebTown readers see that money put to use in the local community?

United Way of Lebanon County works to support long-term self-sufficiency of the people within our communities, particularly families. People know United Way has a strong track record of supporting programs that help those who may be facing an immediate crisis. But I think what readers should know is that United Way of Lebanon County is focused on solving root causes to complex challenges, not just addressing the symptoms.

We are taking the lead on pulling cross-sector partners together to collectively address these root causes and are focusing on the youngest members of our community, who are fighting an uphill battle. 

We remove barriers to learning by focusing resources on preventing adverse childhood experiences, increasing kindergarten readiness, increasing reading proficiencies by the end of third grade, and improving family stability. By investing in the critical years of a child’s life, we create a strong foundation and build resiliency, setting a foundation for future generations to be self-sufficient, contributing members of our community 

How have you been getting to know Lebanon County and the communities served by UWLC?

As a Lebanon County native, I would say that I am getting reacquainted with the communities being served. Because United Way of Lebanon County is led by people from our own communities, and we work with so many incredible local partners, I feel like I have a great foundation to learn about the challenges and opportunities Lebanon County communities are facing. 

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