Donor Spotlight: Lynne Cannady


United Way California Capital Region is fortunate to have donors and volunteers who care deeply about their community, giving effortlessly and tirelessly of their time and finances to make a positive impact in our region. Thank you, Lynne, for your unwavering support and dedication to making a lasting change in our community!

Tell us how you first got involved with United Way.

I had heard of the work United Way was doing with local foster youth through my work with CPS and connection to the Child Abuse Prevention Center (CAPC). Prior to the Square One Project launch last year, I met with Stephanie Bray and then attended the Women in Philanthropy luncheon last November. After that, I was hooked and wanted to get more involved.

What do you most relate to in the work that United Way California Capital Region does?

I relate most to the work that Women United does to support our local foster youth. Beyond financial support, United Way’s Women United group provides direct service including teaching valuable life skills to foster youth.

What do you find most challenging about the work United Way is doing?

It is often hard to break down the barriers foster youth build up. Foster youth are often suspicious of others, not wanting them to get too close. There is a fear amongst foster youth that anyone who shows support will at some point leave and abandon them. We need to overcome that attachment issue in order to help foster youth prepare for success in college and beyond.

What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done to help foster youth in our region?

I believe that creating a bridge to emancipation is vital to seeing our foster youth succeed. We must address the attachment concerns and identify people that foster youth can turn to as mentors.

What is most fulfilling about your relationship with United Way?

I find the work United Way is doing with foster youth and learning more about the Square One Project is the most fulfilling.

Why should people give?

For many people, especially those from my generation, you get to a point in life when you no longer have many needs. When you reach that point in life, which is different for everyone, start writing checks. There is a great joy in giving back, and every little bit counts. Your gift is part of something much bigger and helps make a difference. 

How would people describe you?

  • Schmoozer
  • People Person
  • Relationship Builder
  • Someone who knows people and can work a room

What is something people may not know about you and your desire to be involved in our community?

I moved out to Sacramento many years ago from D.C. for a unique job opportunity. Being new to the community, one of the first things I did was visit the public library. There, I paged through giant three-ring binders of local volunteer opportunities. My first project was with the WEAVE Auction, and I have not stopped giving back since.

What would you most likely tell yourself at age 13?

Don’t grow up too fast.