Since she was a 13-year-old girl helping a local teacher during her summers off, L. Marie Asad has lived her life in the service of others. Today, through United Way and the Delta Sigma Theta service sorority, L. Marie gives back to her community of Chicago in a multitude of ways. 

“Organizations come and go, but United Way is a staple in the community. It has a finger on the pulse of the organizations on the frontline of communities,” she said.“My favorite thing is to speak to people about why I support United Way.” 

With a personal goal of creating strong relationships and networks, L. Marie embodies our work to build stronger communities by bringing people together to solve problems. 

For the last five years, she’s served as a United Way South-Southwest Suburban Regional Board member and, more recently, a representative of the Blue Island-Robbins and Bronzeville Neighborhood Networks’ steering committees. 

An Englewood native, L. Marie now calls the Southland area “home.” As a board member, she values the opportunity to give back to her neighbors in this capacity. 

April Food Day, an annual food collection and fundraising event serving the south-southwest region, is her favorite way to uplift them. Last year, the event raised more than 90,000 lbs. of food for local pantries. 

“From day one, I’ve never missed one April Food Day. It’s one of the most amazing experiences” she said. “What I love the most is how the team works to make it a party atmosphere. It has great energy and volunteers want to be there.”

But volunteerism isn’t her only contribution to improving her community. In her work life, L. Marie unites people to expand low-income individuals’ access to healthcare as the community relations coordinator with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. Though she’s been in this role for five years, she’s been a lifelong advocate in this work. 

Maya Hardy, chief professional officer of United Way’s South-Southwest Region, can attest to L. Marie’s great investment in the board and the region at-large. 

“L. Marie is a strong supporter of United Way. She rallies her friends, networks, colleagues at work and family to advocate, fundraise and volunteer for United Way,” Maya said “She doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk!”

Want to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors alongside passionate leaders like L. Marie? Get involved in our fight to build stronger neighborhoods.