Heart of Illinois
United Way

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Heart of Illinois United Way Announces New President

June 13, 2018

New Heart of Illinois United Way President, Jennifer L. Zammuto.

Jennifer L. Zammuto

Heart of Illinois United Way, the largest non-governmental funder of health and human care programs in central Illinois, is pleased to announce Jennifer L. Zammuto will be the organization's new President. Zammuto will join United Way on August 1 and current President, Michael Stephan, will retire on August 31.

"On behalf of the Heart of Illinois United Way Board of Directors, we are looking forward to Jennifer Zammuto leading the organization into the future. As a true servant leader in our community, Jennifer has been actively involved with our United Way for many years and we know she is the right person for advancing education, financial stability and health in central Illinois," Tim Neuhauser, Board Chair, said.

Jennifer Zammuto comes to the Heart of Illinois United Way with more than 24 years of experience in philanthropy, communications, strategic planning, consulting, team building and project management. She joins the United Way team after ten years at the Caterpillar Foundation where she implemented new approaches to philanthropy and advocacy while growing the Foundation's thought leadership position through processes and procedures focused on supporting and mitigating risk. While at Caterpillar, Zammuto built a diverse, award-winning and high-performing team. Her efforts, both local and worldwide, encourage community-wide collaboration across nonprofit, public, government, and corporate sectors.

Prior to joining the Caterpillar Foundation, her years working at Converse Marketing and L.R. Nelson Corporation built her communications, international business, public relations, brand and marketing expertise. She has been actively involved with the Heart of Illinois United Way including serving as the Solution Council's Vice Chair of the Children and Youth Allocation Committee as well as a member of the Board of Directors, Campaign Cabinet, and Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care Governing Board. Zammuto is currently on the board of LISC Peoria, has served on the board for the Center for Prevention of Abuse, and is a former member of Downtown Rotary.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French-Business and Translation from Northern Illinois University in 1994 and has lived and worked abroad in addition to studying at the Université d'Avignon in France. Zammuto completed Bradley University's EMBA program in 2011.

"The model the Heart of Illinois United Way uses to invest community dollars efficiently and effectively to impact lives in our region is remarkable. I am honored to be a small part of this team of employees, hundreds of volunteers, and partner agencies that make such a difference in the lives of those in our community," Zammuto said.

The position of Heart of Illinois United Way President is to provide innovation, collaboration, leadership and vision achieved through the efforts of a diverse team of high-performing leaders, volunteers and staff. The search committee, led by Board Chair Elect Abby Clark, included twelve members of the Heart of Illinois United Way Board of Directors who began a comprehensive search process in March. Applications were received from many qualified candidates.

"Through a local and national search, our goal was to recruit the best possible leader to build upon the Heart of Illinois United Way's long-standing history of positive community impact. The board members, who comprised the search committee, did extraordinary work in finding the next leader for our United Way. We look forward to the innovative and strategic approach Jennifer Zammuto will bring to the organization," Clark said.

Since 2000, Michael Stephan has served as President of the Heart of Illinois United Way. During his time with the organization, Stephan has been responsible for leading multiple efforts focused on improving the quality of life in central Illinois. These efforts include implementation of an outcome-based funding process, expansion of the annual campaign from $5 million per year to over $11 million annually, and the establishment of initiatives and collaborations including the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service, Success By 6, Supporting Student Success and the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care.

"I know that our central Illinois community will benefit tremendously from Jennifer's leadership. With the continued support from business, labor, and civic leaders, I am confident Jennifer will not only build on our past accomplishments, she will take our United Way to the next level of success," Stephan said.

Heart of Illinois United Way brings together people from business, labor, government, health and human services to address our community's needs. Money raised stays in our community funding programs in Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties that help one in three people in central Illinois each year.


Announcement from Heart of Illinois United Way President

March 19, 2018

For over eighteen years, I've had the privilege of serving as President of the Heart of Illinois United Way. When I originally accepted this opportunity and moved my family to central Illinois, I had no idea how rewarding it would be, both professionally and personally, to serve in this position. Over the years, with an exceptional team of volunteers and staff, we have collectively transformed our organization from a fundraiser to a community problem solver, identifying and addressing the most critical health and human care needs in our community.

I cannot begin to express my sincere appreciation for all the dedicated and compassionate volunteers, wise and committed Board members, caring and knowledgeable community partners, generous and thoughtful donors, and the opportunity to work with the best United Way staff team in the country.

On August 31, I will retire to spend more time with my wonderful wife Karen and provide this organization the opportunity to hire a new servant leader. This person will continue to work collaboratively with business, labor, civic, and community leaders to positively impact the quality of life for residents in central Illinois.

In the meantime, a very talented search committee has been recruited that will identify and hire an exceptional candidate to serve as your next President. While proud of our past accomplishments, with your continued engagement, generosity and support, I am very excited about the future success of our United Way.

Michael D. Stephan
President, Heart of Illinois United Way


Michael Stephan, President of Heart of Illinois United Way, to Retire in 2018

March 19, 2018 - Peoria, IL

After 18 years working devotedly as a President of the Heart of Illinois United Way, Michael Stephan will retire the end of August 2018.

"I cannot begin to express my sincere appreciation for all of the dedicated and compassionate volunteers, wise and committed board members, caring and knowledgeable community partners, generous and thoughtful donors, and the opportunity to work with the best United Way staff team in the country. While proud of our many accomplishments these past 18 years, with the community's continued engagement, generosity and support, I am very excited about the future success of the Heart of Illinois United Way," Stephan said.

Stephan joined the Heart of Illinois United Way in January 2000. During his time with the organization Stephan has been responsible for leading efforts that have positively impacted our community including:

  • Led the transformation from fundraiser to community problem-solver, identifying and addressing the most critical health and human care needs in our community.
  • Increased the annual campaign from $5 million annually to over $11 million annually, raising a total of $159 million.
  • Implemented the annual Challenge Grant and Campaign Ambassador program to expand base of support during the campaign.
  • Increased Tocqueville Society membership from 10 donors contributing $100,000 annually to 90 donors contributing $2.4 million annually.
  • Heart of Illinois United Way is in the top one percentile, recognized by United Way Worldwide, for metrics related to community participation, per capita giving and campaign totals.
  • Decreased administration and fundraising costs from 17 to 11 percent.
  • Created and implemented three key community-wide initiatives: Heart of Illinois 2-1-1, Success By 6 and Supporting Student Success.
  • Implemented an outcome-based allocation process demonstrating accountability and tangible results to donors.
  • Established a comprehensive community assessment every three years to determine education, financial stability and health needs in central Illinois.

"The Heart of Illinois United Way is a philanthropic leader in central Illinois due in large part to Michael's vision, his tremendous leadership skills, and his commitment to excellence," commented Tim Neuhauser, Board Chair. "His contributions as a servant leader to this community are innumerable. He will be greatly missed by the board, staff, and community."

Abby Clark, Board Chair Elect, along with a talented and diverse search committee will be conducting the search process for the new president over the next several months.


United Way Hosts Poverty Simulation

The Heart of Illinois United Way hosted a Poverty Simulation on March 15 at Dream Center Peoria. More than 100 volunteers and participants were a part of this learning tool to help people understand the reality of living in poverty.

During the simulation, participants role-played the lives of low-income families including TANF recipients, people with disabilities, senior citizens on social security, etc. These participants had to work with volunteers representing various agencies and services to meet their basic needs on a limited monthly budget over the course of four, separate 15-minute sessions that each represented one week of a month living in poverty.

Poverty facts from the Heart of Illinois United Way's 2017 Peoria Area Community Assessment and quarterly grant reports show that in central Illinois:

  • 1 in 5 children under the age of 18 live below the poverty line.
  • 43% of single mother/female guardian households with children under age 18 live in poverty.
  • 49.6% of households with children under 18 receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
  • 89% of LIHEAP funding (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program) is distributed to seniors, persons with disabilities, and homes with children under the age of 5.
  • The annual cost of basic needs including food, child care, medical expenses, housing and utilities, transportation costs, clothing, personal hygiene, etc., is $39,004 for a single parent with one child, $51,118 for a single parent with two children, and $41,342 for one working parent and one stay-at-home parent with two children.
  • More than 70% of the families and individuals served by United Way funded education, financial stability and health programs live at or below 100% of the federal poverty guideline.

The poverty simulation presented on March 15 was created by the Missouri Association for Community Action to create broader awareness of poverty and help community leaders begin to understand what it might be like to live as a typical low-income family trying to survive from month to month.

Simulation seeks to help Peorians understand what it means to be poor...

Poverty Simulation Teaches Lessons...

Walking in someone else's shoes: Understanding what it's like living in poverty...

Simulating Poverty Realities in Greater Peoria...

Photos from the Simulation...


Heart of Illinois United Way Celebrates 2017 Campaign Results

The Heart of Illinois United Way 2017 Campaign Chairs, Bill and Rebecca Pape, announced Thursday, February 1 that the 2017 Campaign raised $11,108,500.

Each year, more than 300 local companies and organizations participate in the annual campaign. In 2017, a $265,000 Challenge Grant, sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., CEFCU and UnityPoint Health - Methodist | Proctor, matched new or increased contributions expanding the Heart of Illinois United Way's base of support. For this past campaign, there were 14 new corporate gifts, 20 new employee campaigns and 59 organizations increased their contributions to the United Way by 10 percent or more.

"Heart of Illinois United Way identifies and effectively addresses critical health and human care needs in our community. This year's successful campaign of $11.1 million represents almost a 1 percent increase over last year, but also represents an 83 percent increase from 15 years ago. This continuous growth in generosity and support demonstrates the unwavering caring and compassion we have for one another in central Illinois," Michael Stephan, Heart of Illinois United Way President, said.

Since 2012, the Heart of Illinois United Way has presented two new campaign awards, the Best in Class Award and Campaign Achievement Award, to recognize outstanding workplace campaigns.

The Best in Class Award is based on employee participation in the workplace campaign, per capita giving and overall percent increase in contributions. This award recognizes a local organization who continuously demonstrates campaign excellence from year to year. The 2017 Best in Class Award winner is Illinois Mutual. This is the second time for Illinois Mutual to receive Best in Class.

The Campaign Achievement Award recognizes a campaign that had the largest percentage increase in employee participation from 2016 to 2017. This year's Campaign Achievement Award winner is Vonachen Services.

A few campaign increases from the 2017 Campaign include:

  • Bradley University - 18 percent
  • Burklund Distributors - 6 percent
  • Case New Holland - 75 percent
  • East Peoria City Government - 40 percent
  • First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust - 10 percent
  • Human Service Center - 24 percent
  • Illinois Mutual - 9 percent
  • Komatsu - 10 percent
  • Peoria Disposal Company - 85 percent
  • Peoria Public Schools - 25 percent
  • PNC - 7 percent
  • PwC - 25 percent
  • River City Construction - 205 percent
  • RK Dixon - 24 percent
  • Vonachen Services - 35 percent
  • WEEK-TV - 100 percent

Contributions to the Heart of Illinois United Way stay in central Illinois supporting vital health and human care programs throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark, Marshall and Putnam counties. With 46 partner agencies, these programs help more than 100,000 people each year.


Halfway through 2017 campaign, $8.6 million donated to United Way

The Heart of Illinois United Way has raised $8.6 million so far in its annual fundraising campaign, with numerous workforce efforts still underway at the campaign's midpoint. More than 300 local companies and organizations participate in the campaign by seeking donations from employees - and several businesses have already surpassed previous contribution levels. Continue Reading at www.pjstar.com...


HOI 2-1-1 service reports record number of calls

The Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 help line reported a record quarter of inquiries this year. The information and referral service operated by the Heart of Illinois United Way and Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois received 2,876 calls between April and June. That's 266 more than the previous high quarter. Read More at www.pjstar.com...


Homelessness: 'It could be a solvable problem here'

Kevin Nowlan doesn't see more cots in emergency shelters solving the homeless problem in central Illinois. "Permanent housing is the answer," said the Continuum of Care director with the Heart of Illinois United Way, the agency that last year took over management of the region's homeless care program. But it's a matter of taking one step at a time, he said. "We don't have the housing stock for all of the homeless people in the area. That's why we're prioritizing," said Nowlan. Read More at www.pjstar.com...


2017 Philanthropists of the Year - Mark & Reneé Spenny

The 2017 Philanthropists of the Year award was presented to Mark and Reneé Spenny at the fall Tocqueville Society Reception. Giving back to the community is important Mark and Reneé Spenny. Together, they have given generously of their time, talents and treasure to numerous organizations in central Illinois.

Mark and Reneé Spenny

In 2007, the Heart of Illinois United Way established the Philanthropists of the Year to recognize members of the Tocqueville Society who are committed to the health and well-being of central Illinois. Each year, the award honors individuals or couples for their leadership, dedication, and inspiration in creating a lasting positive impact on the quality of life in our community.

The 2017 Philanthropists of the Year award was presented to Mark and Reneé Spenny at the fall Tocqueville Society Reception. Giving back to the community is important Mark and Reneé Spenny. Together, they have given generously of their time, talents and treasure to numerous organizations in central Illinois.

In 2010, Mark and Reneé chaired the Heart of Illinois United Way's annual campaign, raising more than $8.7 million. Mark is President and CEO of CEFCU and Reneé Spenny has been employed in real estate title and loans. They have volunteered for numerous local nonprofits and most recently, Mark served as Chair of the Heart of Illinois United Way's Board of Directors and Reneé served on the Power of the Purse steering committee.

Congratulations to Mark and Reneé Spenny who join the following recipients of Philanthropists of the Year:

2016 Bernie & Teresa Koch
2015 Jim & Deb Bowers
2014 Steve & Bonnie Gosselin
2013 Steve & Patti Bash
2012 Leonard Sachs
2011 Stu & Nancy Levenick
2010 Bill & Margie Springer
2009 Jim & Katie Owens
2008 Kay & Michel McCord
2007 Bielfeldt Foundation


Sally Snyder, 2017 Hoot Gibson Honoree

2017 Hoot Gibson Honoree Sally Snyder with Board Chair Tim Neuhauser

Sally Snyder with Board Chair Tim Neuhauser

Since 1985, the Heart of Illinois United Way has recognized a volunteer who spends countless hours working without fanfare to help others. The annual Hoot Gibson award is presented in memory of Horace J. "Hoot" Gibson, who pursued his goals in a quiet, determined manner, caring little if others knew of his accomplishments. For her volunteer leadership in central Illinois and outstanding support for Heart of Illinois United Way, Sally Snyder was awarded the 2017 Hoot Gibson Award.

Sally first became involved with the Heart of Illinois United Way as a board member in the mid-1990s and just finished another term of office. As a long-time supporter of the United Way, she's been a member of the Success By 6 steering committee and has been instrumental in our support of early childhood education. She also serves on the health and rehabilitation allocations panel and devotes countless hours each year reviewing grants and attending agency presentations. Over the years, she has also served on our Pillars Society and Strategic Planning committees.

With a passion for education, Sally Snyder has spent years on the Peoria Public Schools' board including serving as board president. In addition, she has provided volunteer leadership to numerous nonprofit organizations including the Hult Center for Healthy Living, Peoria Riverfront Museum, WTVP, Peoria Promise, Heartland Health Services and Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois.

Congratulations to Sally!


Volunteers kick off annual United Way campaign with Day of Caring

September 9, 2017, Peoria Journal Star

Nearly 1,700 volunteers from central Illinois businesses and not-for-profits spent the day Friday lending a hand at United Way partner agencies to help kick off the annual Heart of Illinois United Way campaign. This year's traditional Day of Caring activities contributed more than 6,600 volunteer hours at those agencies, setting the tone for the ongoing efforts to encourage people to continue to give back to the broader community. Read More at www.pjstar.com...


25 News Day of Caring Campaign on Final Day

We want to thank the overwhelming response from viewers who have participated in our Day of Caring Campaign all this week. Together with United Way and the Midwest Food Bank, we've been collecting your donations to help combat hunger. Some of that food is headed to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. But some of that food is also staying right here to help those in need in Central Illinois. Read More at week.com...


2017 Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award

(L-R) Tami Meister, Vice Chair of the Crittenton Centers Board; Jeff Gress, President and CEO of Crittenton Centers; Jennifer Zammuto, Caterpillar Inc.; and Tim Neuhauser, Envision Insurance and Chair of the Heart of Illinois United Way Board of Directors.

(L-R) Tami Meister, Vice Chair of the Crittenton Centers Board; Jeff Gress, President and CEO of Crittenton Centers; Jennifer Zammuto, Caterpillar Inc.; and Tim Neuhauser, Envision Insurance and Chair of the Heart of Illinois United Way Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Crittenton Centers who was recently awarded the Heart of Illinois United Way's 2017 Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award at the 2017 Annual Meeting on July 25.

In 2007, the Heart of Illinois United Way created the United Way Partner Award that is presented annually to a United Way agency in recognition of their outstanding leadership, collaboration and engagement with the Heart of Illinois United Way. In 2009, Jim and Katie Owens were presented with the Heart of Illinois United Way's Philanthropist of the Year award at the Toqueville Society reception.

Over the years, Jim and Katie Owens have provided outstanding volunteer leadership to the United Way and our partner agencies. They have served on our campaign cabinet, board of directors and several committees. To recognize them for their tremendous support, in 2009 the United Way Partner Award was renamed in their honor to be the Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award.

As the 2017 recipient of the Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award, Crittenton Centers has been a member of the Heart of Illinois United Way family of agencies since the very beginnings of the United Way in 1921.

Founded as the House of Blessings in 1892, Crittenton Centers has been caring for women, children and families in central Illinois for 125 years. The agency provides three core services to the community: preschool and daycare for infants and children ages six weeks to six years, educational and support services for children and families, and emergency and respite care for infants and children from birth to age six in their crisis nursery.

Over the years, Crittenton Centers has been a tremendous partner to the Heart of Illinois United Way and our efforts to ensure families have access to quality education, financial stability and healthy lifestyles. This year's honoree provides countless agency presentations to companies during the campaign, continually provides rewarding volunteer experiences through Day of Caring and other year-round United Way opportunities. In addition, Crittenton Center staff participates in several United Way committees including the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care and Success By 6.


Heart of Illinois United Way Host Wine Tasting for Tocqueville Society

June 22, 2017

On June 22, the Heart of Illinois United Way hosted a Wine Tasting for the Tocqueville Society at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. More than 100 guests and volunteers enjoyed a fun night out to support the education, financial stability and health programs in central Illinois.

On June 22, the Heart of Illinois United Way hosted a Wine Tasting for the Tocqueville Society at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. More than 100 guests and volunteers enjoyed a fun night out to support the education, financial stability and health programs in central Illinois. Our thanks to the sponsors who made the event happen...Digital Copy Systems, Mike and Margee Cullinan, UFS, Peoria Riverfront Museum, and The Kwon Gallup Group – Morgan Stanley.


EP!C Clients to Receive a New Pair of Shades from Generous Donation by Bard Optical

April 21, 2017

EP!C clients had it made in the shade on April 21 when Bard Optical stopped by to donate 250 pairs of sunglasses.

EP!C clients had it made in the shade on April 21 when Bard Optical stopped by to donate 250 pairs of sunglasses. Diana Hall, Heart of Illinois United Way board member, was proud to provide these sunglasses for clients of EP!C. She continues to give back to the communities that have supported Bard Optical for more than 75 years.

As a co-chair of the Heart of Illinois United Way's Solution Council, Hall works with more than 100 volunteers each year to help distribute United Way funding to 87 health and human programs at 46 United Way partner agencies including EP!C.

"We are so grateful to Bard Optical and Diana's support of the Heart of Illinois United Way and our work in central Illinois. Her volunteer leadership and generosity have made a profound difference in our community," Michael Stephan, President of the Heart of Illinois United Way, said.

EP!C has been serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1950. Through a wide range of educational, residential, employment, and care taking programs, EP!C empowers their clients to live their best lives, while enriching the lives of their family members and the community.

As Healthy Vision Month approaches in May, it is important to remember that sunglasses protect eyes from damaging UV rays that can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and more. Sunglasses can be particularly helpful to individuals with developmental disabilities as they can help with light sensitivity.

Providing vision care at 21 locations in Illinois, Bard Optical is among the top 50 optical retailers in the United States.

The Heart of Illinois United Way brings together people from business, labor, government, health and human services to address our community's health and human care needs. Money raised by the Heart of Illinois United Way campaign stays in our community funding programs and services in Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties.

For media coverage and photos from the event, visit our Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/hoiunitedway/posts/1418010401555489
https://www.facebook.com/hoiunitedway/posts/1418009734888889


Success By 6 Participated in Read Across America Day

March 2, 2017

Celebrated annually on Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2, 2017, Read Across America Day is a nationwide celebration with thousands of schools, libraries, and agencies bringing together children and volunteers for reading, crafts and activities.

The Heart of Illinois United Way's Success By 6 program participated in the National Education Association's 2017 Read Across America Day.

Celebrated annually on Dr. Seuss' birthday, March 2, 2017, Read Across America Day is a nationwide celebration with thousands of schools, libraries, and agencies bringing together children and volunteers for reading, crafts and activities.

In central Illinois, Success By 6 had more than 70 volunteers at its partner preschools to read the 50th Anniversary Edition of Dr. Seuss' Come Over to My House and assist the students with a craft related to Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat.

Success By 6 is the Heart of Illinois United Way's early childhood education initiative that provides teachers and parents with opportunities to best impact preschool students' early learning experiences in reading, math, and social-emotional health. Led by a community-based team of business leaders, educators, and early childhood advocates, Success By 6 strives to ensure children from birth to age six, are healthy, safe, nurtured, and ready to succeed.

The National Education Association, the nation's largest professional organization representing 3.2 million teachers and administrators, estimated that more than 45 million volunteers, students and educators picked up a book and read on March 2.

For photos from the event, visit our Facebook Page...


2016 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign Raises More than $11 million

January 31, 2017

2016 Campaign Chairs, Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, present the 2016 Campaign results with help from Campaign Ambassadors Art Oakford, Kaci Hampton, Laura Luthy Crowley, Holland Nickerson and Ron Hale.

2016 Campaign Chairs, Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, present the 2016 Campaign results with help from Campaign Ambassadors Art Oakford, Kaci Hampton, Laura Luthy Crowley, Holland Nickerson and Ron Hale.


The 2016 Best in Class Award was presented to CEFCU. L-R  Jana Stevens  (CEFCU), Tom Jenkins, Sue Yoder Portscheller (CEFCU), Sara Rogers (CEFCU) and Katie McCord Jenkins.

The 2016 Best in Class Award was presented to CEFCU. L-R Jana Stevens (CEFCU), Tom Jenkins, Sue Yoder Portscheller (CEFCU), Sara Rogers (CEFCU) and Katie McCord Jenkins.


The 2016 Campaign Achievement Award was presented to  CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. L-R is Stephanie Petri (CLA), Katie McCord Jenkins and Tom Jenkins, Melissa Yoder (CLA), and Kyla Greenhoe (CLA).

The 2016 Campaign Achievement Award was presented to CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. L-R is Stephanie Petri (CLA), Katie McCord Jenkins and Tom Jenkins, Melissa Yoder (CLA), and Kyla Greenhoe (CLA).


Congratulations to Kathy Donoho at RSM who was presented the Campaign Coordinator of the Year honor.  Our thanks to Target, Biaggi's and JCPenney for donating the prize.  L-R, Katie McCord Jenkins, Tom Jenkins and Kathy Donoho.

Congratulations to Kathy Donoho at RSM who was presented the Campaign Coordinator of the Year honor. Our thanks to Target, Biaggi's and JCPenney for donating the prize. L-R, Katie McCord Jenkins, Tom Jenkins and Kathy Donoho.


Heart of Illinois United Way President, Michael  Stephan, thanks Katie and Tom at the Celebration on January 31.

L-R, Jeffrey with Tom and Katie. 
A special thank you to Jeffrey Alexander a client at CWTC for creating a custom piece of artwork to thank our 2016 Campaign Chairs, Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins. Above, Heart of Illinois United Way President, Michael Stephan, thanks Katie and Tom at the Celebration on January 31. Left, L-R, Jeffrey with Tom and Katie.


The Heart of Illinois United Way 2016 Campaign Chairs, Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, announced Tuesday, January 31 that the 2016 Campaign raised $11,042,893.

Each year, more than 300 local companies and organizations participate in the annual campaign. In 2016, a $265,000 Challenge Grant, sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., CEFCU and UnityPoint Health - Methodist | Proctor, matched new or increased contributions expanding the Heart of Illinois United Way's base of support. For this past campaign, there were 20 new corporate gifts and 23 new employee campaigns; 57 organizations increased their contributions to the United Way by 10 percent or more.

"The people of central Illinois are one of the most generous in the nation. Compared to the largest United Way organizations across the United States, we are one of the smallest metropolitan populations to raise more than $11 million annually. The results of our 2016 Campaign are because we continue to expand our base of support with local companies and donors. It is our mission to be good stewards of our community's charitable investments and provide a reliable and steady source of income for our partner agencies," Michael Stephan, Heart of Illinois United Way President, said.

In 2012, the Heart of Illinois United Way established two new campaign awards, the Best in Class Award and Campaign Achievement Award, to recognize outstanding workplace campaigns. The Best in Class Award is based on employee participation in the workplace campaign, per capita giving and overall percent increase in contributions. This award recognizes a local organization who continuously demonstrates campaign excellence from year to year. The 2016 Best in Class Award winner is CEFCU. The Campaign Achievement Award recognizes a campaign that had the largest percentage increase in employee participation from 2015 to 2016. This year's Campaign Achievement Award winner is CliftonLarsonAllen LLP.

A few highlights from the 2016 Campaign include:

  • Advanced Technology Services, 24 percent increase
  • Ameren, 9 percent increase
  • Busey Bank, 39 percent increase
  • CEFCU, 25 percent increase
  • City of Peoria, 23 percent increase
  • CliftonLarsonAllen, 11 percent increase
  • The F&M Bank, 12 percent increase
  • Illinois Mutual, 58 percent increase
  • Mexichem Specialty Resins, 46 percent increase
  • OSF Healthcare System, 16 percent increase
  • Pearl Companies, 16 percent increase
  • Peoria Disposal Company, 40 percent increase
  • Peoria Public Schools, 31 percent increase
  • River City Construction, 17 percent increase
  • RSM US LLP, 11 percent increase
  • Vonachen Services, 13 percent increase

Contributions to the Heart of Illinois United Way stay in central Illinois supporting vital health and human care programs throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark, Marshall and Putnam counties. With 46 partner agencies, these programs help more than 100,000 people each year.

The Heart of Illinois United Way changes lives and improves our community by mobilizing people and resources to positively impact the areas of education, income and health for the people of central Illinois. While our local community continues to face challenging economic times, it is critical that the Heart of Illinois United Way raise the maximum amount of dollars to support vital health and human care programs.


Campaign Raises $8.5 Million To-Date

November 2, 2016

Katie McCord Jenkins, 2016 Campaign Co-Chair, at the Tazewell Woodford Head Start Family Center, a Heart of Illinois United Way Success By 6 Partner.

Katie McCord Jenkins, 2016 Campaign Co-Chair, at the Tazewell Woodford Head Start Family Center, a Heart of Illinois United Way Success By 6 Partner.

The 2016 Heart of Illinois United Way campaign has raised $8.5 million to-date. With more than 300 local companies and organizations participating in workplace campaigns, many are still in progress at the mid-campaign point.

Katie McCord Jenkins, 2016 Campaign Co-Chair, was at the Tazewell Woodford Head Start Family Center, a Heart of Illinois United Way Success By 6 Partner, on Wednesday, November 2 to discuss the progress of this year's campaign.

As the largest non-governmental funder of local health and human care agencies, supporting the Heart of Illinois United Way is vital to helping people in need since United Way funding is a reliable and steady source of income for critical education, income and health programs in central Illinois.

With the Illinois state budget crisis and demand for United Way funded programs continuing to increase, the need for a successful United Way campaign in 2016 is essential for the upcoming year. The Heart of Illinois United Way's 2015 Campaign raised $11.631 million representing a 2 percent increase from 2014. Over the past five years, the annual campaign has increased 33 percent.

A few campaign highlights to-date this year include:

  • Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois - up 91 percent
  • Peoria Disposal Company - up 40 percent
  • The F&M Bank - up 30 percent
  • River City Construction - up 18 percent
  • Vonachen Services - up 13 percent
  • Peoria Public Schools - up 13 percent
  • RSM - up 11 percent
  • Advanced Technology Services - up 10 percent

Over the last three years, the Heart of Illinois United Way's partner agencies have collectively lost more than $15 million in state and federal funding. United Way of Illinois reports that statewide 85 percent of health and human care agencies have significantly decreased the number of clients they serve. Prior to the budget impasse, many nonprofits were already struggling with delayed payments from the state.

The Heart of Illinois United Way's Community Impact Fund is a competitive, outcome-based multi-year grant process currently funding more than 84 local programs at 45 partner agencies addressing vital health and human care needs in our community — helping more than 100,000 people each year throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Stark and Putnam counties.

The results of the 2016 Campaign will be announced on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.


Heart of Illinois United Way Board of Directors Restores $25,000 in Funding for a Day Drop-In Center Serving the Homeless

October 24, 2016

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, the Heart of Illinois United Way Board of Directors voted to restore $25,000 in funding to The Salvation Army to support a day drop-in center for the local homeless population. This restoration of funding is in collaboration with the City of Peoria and Peoria County to provide resources to The Salvation Army to reopen the day drop-in center. During the next year, discussions will continue with various stakeholders to develop the best strategy to increase the percentage of homeless individuals and families moving to permanent housing.

For decades, United Way partner agencies have provided services for the homeless. Due to a realignment of grants by the federal government's Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), funding for The Salvation Army, who was managing the day drop-in center, ended the summer of 2016. With cold weather approaching, reopening the center is a critical health and human care need in central Illinois.

Total dollars needed to operate the day drop-in center for the next 12 months is $152,720. Funding released by the Heart of Illinois United Way is contingent upon approval of $63,860 by the Peoria City Council on Tuesday, October 25 and approval of an additional $63,860 by the Peoria County Board on Thursday, November 10.

Upon approval of funding, the Heart of Illinois United Way will administer and provide program oversight on behalf of the partners. Opening in November, the day drop-in center will provide basic services including meals, showers, storage, mail service and case management from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days per week.

In July 2016, the Heart of Illinois United Way assumed the administrative responsibilities for the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care, a regional planning body coordinating housing and services for homeless families and individuals on behalf of HUD. Nationally, there are more than 450 Continuums of Care. The goal of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care is to end homelessness in Fulton, Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties by ensuring access to permanent, safe, habitable and affordable housing.

The Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care, as required by HUD, performs an annual Point-in-Time Count on a single night in January to determine the number of homeless persons in the Peoria region. In 2016, the Point-in-Time data for the area recorded 378 homeless individuals, 142 of whom were under the age of 24.

Education, income and health are the building blocks of a safe and stable life. But for many families and individuals in central Illinois, these fundamentals are at times out of reach. With 45 partner agencies, the Heart of Illinois United Way supports critical health and social service programs, helping more than 100,000 people each year throughout central Illinois.

In the News...
Drop-in Center for Homeless Likely Will Re-Open in November


Bernie and Teresa Koch Named Philanthropists of the Year

September 15, 2016

Bernie-and-Teresa-Koch

Bernie and Teresa Koch

In 2007, the Heart of Illinois United Way established an annual Tocqueville Society award entitled Philanthropists of the Year. This award recognizes members of the United Way's Tocqueville Society who are committed to the health and well-being of central Illinois. It honors individuals or couples for their leadership, dedication, and inspiration in creating a lasting positive impact on the quality of life in our community.

The Philanthropists of the Year award is announced at the Tocqueville Society Reception held each fall. This year's reception was held at the home of David and Dawn Bozeman on Thursday, September 15th. Among a beautiful outdoor setting of fountains, flowers, and wonderful jazz music provided by Preston Jackson and Friends, the 2016 Philanthropists of the Year award was presented to Bernie and Teresa Koch.

Bernie and Teresa are two very special, active, and committed supporters of the Heart of Illinois United Way. Together, they have given generously of their time, talents and treasure. They have donated countless hours as members of the United Way Board of Directors, 2014 Campaign Chairs, Pillars Society Chairs, campaign cabinet members, and Teresa chaired the inaugural Power of the Purse fundraiser in 2014. She has also agreed to lead the new United Way women's initiative, Women United.

When presented with the award, the Kochs humbly accepted the honor on behalf of all those in attendance who have also given, and continue to give, tirelessly of their time, talents, and resources. They highlighted the collective generosity of the Tocqueville Society and Pillars Society members as one of the reasons Peoria is known as one of the most giving communities in Illinois. They expressed appreciation to the Heart of Illinois United Way for being responsible stewards of donations received, as well as their confidence in the accountability and outcomes of dollars invested.

Congratulations to Bernie and Teresa Koch who join the following illustrious group of past Philanthropists of the Year.


United Way Kicks Off 2016 Annual Campaign

September 10, 2016

Mike Everett and Tim Neuhauser

Mike Everett and Tim Neuhauser

PEORIA – The Heart of Illinois United Way hosted its annual Kickoff Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. at the Peoria Civic Center on Friday, September 9. The breakfast included a presentation by 2016 Campaign Co-Chairs, Tom Jenkins (Skyward Inc.) and Katie McCord Jenkins (Illinois Mutual); and a presentation by guest speaker, Adam Braun, author of The Promise of a Pencil.

To date, the 2016 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign has raised $1,422,713 from Pacesetter Campaigns that 40 companies and organizations held this summer.

The breakfast was sponsored by Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, and Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC.

Funds raised by this year's campaign will support critical health and human care programs improving the quality of life for people in central Illinois. Grants are awarded to programs that achieve tangible results in addressing local education, income and health needs indentified in the Heart of Illinois United Way's Peoria Area Community Assessment.

Following the morning's kickoff breakfast, the United Way will host its 25th annual Day of Caring. Over the last month, and culminating on September 9, the 2016 Day of Caring volunteer effort has had a record breaking 1,858 volunteers providing more than 8,000 hours of work at our partner agencies throughout central Illinois. The Day of Caring event also includes an annual food drive. Over the last five years, the food drive has raised more than 290,000 pounds of food, providing more than 193,000 meals to people in need. Day of Caring was underwritten by PNC along with our food drive partner, Federal Companies.

The Heart of Illinois United Way brings together people from business, labor, government, health and human services to address our community's needs. Money raised by the Heart of Illinois United Way campaign stays in our community funding programs and services in Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties helping more than 100,000 people each year.


Heart of Illinois United Way Celebrates 2015 Campaign Results

February 4, 2016

2015 Best in Class Award, Commerce Bank. Michael Stephan (HOIUW) and James Weekley (Commerce Bank)

2015 Best in Class Award, Commerce Bank
Michael Stephan (HOIUW) and James Weekley (Commerce Bank)

The Heart of Illinois United Way celebrated the results of its 2015 Campaign on Thursday, February 4. Campaign Chairs, Tana and Kent Utley announced a grand total of $11,631,648, representing an approximate 2 percent increase over 2014.

Each year, more than 300 local companies and organizations participate in the annual campaign. In 2015, a $265,000 Challenge Grant, sponsored by Caterpillar Inc., CEFCU and UnityPoint Health-Peoria, matched new or increased contributions expanding the Heart of Illinois United Way's base of support. For this past campaign, there were 12 new corporate gifts and 18 new employee campaigns; 26 organizations increased their contributions to the United Way by 10 percent or more.

"Of the largest 100 United Ways across the country, the Heart of Illinois United Way is the fastest growing in the last 10 years. Since 2004, our annual campaign has increased 82 percent compared to other United Ways across the country that realized an average 2 percent decrease over the same period of time. Our growth is a result of the hard work and effort put forth by all of our volunteers, as well as the unwavering support of so many donors in our community who know that investing in our mission provides the best return on their charitable contribution," Michael Stephan, Heart of Illinois United Way President, said.

In 2012, the Heart of Illinois United Way established two new campaign awards, the Best in Class Award and Campaign Achievement Award, to recognize outstanding workplace campaigns.

The Best in Class Award is based on employee participation in the workplace campaign, per capita giving and overall percent increase in contributions. This award recognizes a local organization who continuously demonstrates campaign excellence from year to year. The 2015 Best in Class Award winner is Commerce Bank.

The Campaign Achievement Award recognizes a campaign that had the largest percentage increase in employee participation from 2014 to 2015. This year's Campaign Achievement Award winner is Federal Companies.

L-R, From Federal Companies -Kevin McLaren, Mark Bugaieski, and Bill Cirone; Michael Stephan, HOI United Way; and  Rick Dokey, Jeff Bogdan, Bruce Resler, and Heather Nelson from Federal Companies.

L-R, From Federal Companies -Kevin McLaren, Mark Bugaieski, and Bill Cirone; Michael Stephan, HOI United Way; and Rick Dokey, Jeff Bogdan, Bruce Resler, and Heather Nelson from Federal Companies.

A few highlights from the 2015 Campaign include:

  • Advanced Medical Transport, 10 percent increase
  • Archer Daniels Midland, 48 percent increase
  • Farnsworth Group, 27 percent increase
  • Hanson Professional Services, 30 percent increase
  • Illinois Mutual, 11 percent increase
  • Lincoln Office, 11 percent increase
  • Morgan Stanley, 33 percent increase
  • OSF Healthcare System, 15 percent increase
  • Peoria Disposal Company, 34 percent increase
  • Peoria Journal Star, 13 percent increase
  • RLI, 17 percent increase
  • RSM, 10 percent increase
  • Vonachen Services, 17 percent increase

The Heart of Illinois United Way changes lives and improves our community by mobilizing people and resources to positively impact the areas of education, income and health for the people of central Illinois. The demand for United Way funded programs continues to increase...

  • Over the last three years, Heart of Illinois United Way partner agencies have lost more than $15 million in state and federal funding.
  • With the current state budget crisis, agencies in central Illinois have cut programs mostly impacting children, adults seeking education and victims of violence. It is critical that the Heart of Illinois United Way raise the maximum amount of dollars to support these vital health and human care programs.
  • Heart of Illinois United Way funding is a reliable and steady source of income for our partner agencies.
  • More than 43 percent of area families with single mothers and children under 18 live in poverty.
  • In partnership with Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois, our Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 service provides comprehensive information and referral for people in need. Seventy-five percent of callers request assistance in meeting basic needs (food, shelter, and clothing).

The 2016 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign will be chaired by Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins (Illinois Mutual).

The Bright Side: United Way campaign raises more than $11.6M
HOI United Way Increase Campaign Totals
Heart of Illinois United Way's $11.6 million campaign a new high
Heart of Illinois United Way 2015 campaign breaks records


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