Find out the latest news and events from the Heart of Illinois United Way, which brings together people from business, labor, government, health and human services to address community needs in Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford Counties in Central Illinois.

Thank You to Our 2023 Supporting Organizations

Each year, hundreds of local companies and organizations participate in our annual campaign. In 2023, there were nine new corporate gifts and 12 new employee campaigns; and 46 organizations increased their contributions to United Way by 10 percent or more. Additionally, more than half of our United Way partner agencies increased their workplace campaigns by 5% or more.

Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois
Advanced Technology Services, Inc.
Advocate Medical Group
Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 416
Ameren Illinois
American Postal Workers Union
American Red Cross – Central Illinois Chapter
Assurant
AT&T Inc.
Bard Optical
Bartonville School District #66
Basic ITS
Baumgarten Distributing Co., Inc.
Baxter & Woodman
Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.
Best Practices, Inc.
Beverly Manor School
The Bielfeldt Foundation
Big Brothers Big Sisters, Heart of Illinois
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
BMO Financial Group
Boy Scouts of America- W.D. Boyce Council
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Peoria, Inc.
Bradfield’s Inc.
Bradley University
Burklund Distributors, Inc.
Busey Bank
Carle Health
Carpenters Local 237
CASA of the Tenth Judicial Circuit
Cassidy & Mueller
Caterpillar
CEFCU
Cellipont Bioservices
The Center for Prevention of Abuse
The Center for Youth & Family Solutions
Central Illinois Agency on Aging
Central Illinois FRIENDS of PWA, Inc.
Charles Schwab
The Chemours Company
Children’s Home Association of Illinois
City of Peoria
Cleveland Clinic
CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Comcast
Commerce Bank
Community Workshop & Training Center, Inc.
Computer Services, Inc.
Conagra Brands
Consociate
Constellation
Costco
Crittenton Centers
CRST
Cullinan Properties, Ltd.
Dang Banh Mi & Poke LLC
Davis & Campbell LLC
Davis Insurance Agency
Delta Airlines
Dewberry
Dream Center Peoria
Dynamic Controls
East Peoria Comm. High School
Easterseals Central Illinois
Eli Lilly & Company
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Envision Insurance Group
EP!C
Erie Insurance Group
Ernst & Young
Evonik
Exelon
F&M Bank
FamilyCore
Farnsworth Group, Inc.
Federal Companies
First Mid Bank & Trust
Flat Branch Home Loans
Fortress Bank
Freedom House
Fritch Heating & Cooling
G.W. Carver Community Center
General Motors Company
GFL Environmental
Gilmore Foundation
Girl Scouts of Central Illinois
Givsco & JM Industrial Supply
Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois
Greater Peoria Business Alliance
Greater Peoria Family YMCA
Habitat for Humanity – Greater Peoria Area
Hagerty Steel & Aluminum
Hallmark Metamora Fixture Operations
Hanson Professional Services, Inc.
Hasselberg Grebe Snodgrass Urban & Wentworth
Heart of Illinois United Way
Heartland Bank & Trust Co.
Heartland Health Services
Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, P.C.
Hibü Marketing & Media
Hickory Point Bank
Holmes Murphy & Associates
HR Fit, LLC
IBEW #34 Retirees Club
IBEW Local #34
IBM
Illinois Central College
Illinois Eye Center
Illinois Federation of Teachers
Illinois Mutual
Illinois Piping Corporation
Illinois State Employees Combined Appeal
Iron Workers Local 112
Janssen Law Center
Jennings Family Dentistry
Junior Achievement of Central Illinois
Keith Engineering Design, Inc.
Kirby Risk Electrical Supply
Komatsu America Corp.
Kwikee, a Syndigo Company
Labor Council of West Central Illinois
Laborers Local 165
Laser Electric
Law Office of John T. Brady
Liberty Mutual Group
Liberty Steel & Wire
Lincoln Office, LLC
Lockton Affinity
Lutheran Hillside Village
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
Maurer-Stutz, Inc.
METEC Resource Center
Midwest Food Bank
Millennia Professional Services of Illinois, Ltd.
Miller, Hall & Triggs
Morgan Stanley
Morton Buildings
Morton Community Bank
MTCO Communications
National Assoc. of Letter Carriers Branch 31
Nationwide Insurance Co.
Neighborhood House Association
New Belgium Brewing Co.
Nicor Gas
OSF HealthCare
Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino
Parsons Company
Pearl Companies
Peoria Civic Center/SMG
Peoria County Employees
Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service
Peoria Housing Authority
Peoria Park District
Peoria Public Schools
Peoria Riverfront Museum
Peoria Surgical Group Ltd.
PHD Services, L.L.C.
Phoenix Community Development Services
Pleasant Hill School
Pleasant Valley School District #62
Plumbers Local 63
PNC
PointCore Network Services, LLC
Prairie State Legal Services, Inc.
Protective Insurance
Purposeful Properties, LLC
The Quality Connection
Quinn Johnston
R.A. Cullinan & Son
Raymond James & Associates, Inc.
Regions Bank
Richwoods Christian Church
River City Construction, LLC
RLI
Road Sprinkler Fitters Local 669
Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.
Roehl Transport
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois
RSM US LLP
The Salvation Army
Schnucks Markets, Inc.
Sheet Metal Workers #1
Soderstrom Skin Institute
Springfield Electric Supply Co.
Standard Heating & Cooling
Steamfitters Local #353
TADA Cognitive Solutions, LLC
Target Stores
Tazewell County Employees
Tazewell County Resource Centers, Inc.
Thompson Electronics Co.
The Timken Co.
Tri-County Peoria Urban League, Inc.
Tri-County Regional Planning Commission
Trinity Services, Inc.
UFCW Local #536
ULLICO
Union Retiree Council of West Central IL
United Auto Workers Local 974
United Facilities, Inc.
United Parcel Service
UnitedHealthcare
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Vestolit
Vonachen Group
Wald/Land Corporation
WEEK-TV/HOI ABC
Wells Fargo
West Central Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council
Westervelt, Johnson, Nicoll & Keller, LLC
Wisdom Development Group, Inc.
WMBD-TV/WYZZ-TV
Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.
YWCA of Pekin

Ron and Michelle Carrothers Named 2023 McCord Philanthropists of the Year

Congratulations to our 2023 McCord Philanthropists of the Year, Ron and Michelle Carrothers, who have been leadership donors and active volunteers for the Heart of Illinois United Way for more than 20 years. Michelle has served as an allocation volunteer, board member, Power of the Purse chair, and co-chair of the Campaign Cabinet’s medical division. Ron served on the Success By 6 committee and has volunteered for many of our United Way events and partner agencies.

In addition to their support of United Way, Michelle has served our community through 40 years of service at OSF and numerous other nonprofit boards. Ron, who is a retired teacher and basketball coach with more than 30 years of experience has always worked to give back to the community through his career and teaching.

“We feel extremely blessed to have been able to live and serve in the Peoria area these past 45 years. They want to thank all of you for your support of the United Way and pray that, together, we continue to touch and enrich people’s lives,” Carrothers said.

Established in 2007, the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Philanthropist of the Year award recognizes members of the Tocqueville Society who are committed to the health and well-being of central Illinois. The award honors individuals for their leadership, dedication, and inspiration – thereby creating a lasting impact on the quality of life in our community.

In 2018, the United Way renamed this annual award as the McCord Philanthropists of the Year to recognize the legacy of my parents, Michel and Kay McCord and to honor my family’s long-standing support of central Illinois.

 

Dr. Jon Neidy Honored with 2023 Hoot Gibson Award

(L-R) Board Chair Robert Gates, Dr. Jon Neidy, President Jennifer Zammuto

Dr. Jon Neidy is the 2023 Hoot Gibson Award honoree for community volunteerism in support of the Heart of Illinois United Way.

Jon’s time with the HOI United Way began in 2006 with his service on a Fund Distribution Committee.  From developing outcome benchmarks, drafting applications and scoring rubrics, training partner agencies, and engaging follow HOIUW volunteers, Jon has been instrumental in the foundational work of the allocation process.  Jon’s commitment to HOIUW was elevated in 2022 as he joined the Solution Council and co-chairs the Education Impact Area.  In this role, Jon is currently leading a Fund Distribution Exploratory Committee to evaluate the HOIUW fund distribution process, determine if it sufficiently aligns with HOIUW strategic goals and objectives and community needs, and suggest improvements and/or process redesign as necessary.

Jon is a graduate of MacMurray College with Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a graduate of Bradley University with a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.  Education is one of Jon’s passions as he obtained his PH.D. in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State University.  Since 1998, Jon has had successful tenure with Bradley University holding various prestigious positions.  In October 2022, Jon accepted the position of VP of Student Success at Illinois Central College and to support students in all services, processes and systems at ICC; including outcomes assessment and improvement.

Jon’s approach to leadership and volunteering includes a profound belief in goal setting and the assessment of learning. He is adept at fostering a strong sense of community and presenting data in ways that help organizations change. He thinks of himself as a staff-engager, order-bringer, and experience-designer.  Jon not only shares his talents with United Way but has incorporated his strengths in community service work with Goodwill and Acorn Equality Fund – an LGBTQ+ scholarship and grant fund.

Most evident of Jon’s skills and talents is his ability to develop relationships with others.  Jon is a person you want in the room and on your team!  His active engagement, energy, and enthusiasm is having a lasting and positive impact on our community.

About the Hoot Gibson Award

Since 1985, the Heart of Illinois United Way has recognized a volunteer who spends countless hours working without fanfare to help others. Our annual Hoot Gibson Award is presented in memory of Horace J. “Hoot” Gibson, Jr. who pursued his goals in a quiet, determined matter, caring little if others knew of his accomplishments. In addition to serving on our health committee and as board secretary, Hoot’s hard work helped the Heart of Illinois United Way transition our allocation process to address prioritized needs. His leadership is the basis of how we continue to fund vital needs today.

Tenth Anniversary of 2-1-1

We celebrated with the Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois team at our Women United event on May 4, 2023.This year marks our 10th anniversary of our partnership with Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois to provide 2-1-1 to people in need. Each year, more than 10,000 calls to 2-1-1 connect people to critical services to help them lead stable lives. And during times of crisis, such as the tornado in 2013 and the first year of the recent pandemic, 2-1-1 has stepped up to help people connect with services and resources when they don’t know where to turn. We celebrated with the AMT team at our Women United event on May 4.

For more information on our Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 service, visit hoi211.org

Heart of Illinois United Way Celebrates 100th Community-Wide Campaign

Each year, hundreds of local companies and organizations participate in our annual campaign. In 2022, our historic 100th community-wide campaign raised $9,003,424!The Heart of Illinois United Way has proven time and again that we are built to support central Illinois in times like these. Through our Community Impact Fund, we are able to adapt to changing needs while providing a solid foundation of services year-round.

Each year, hundreds of local companies and organizations participate in our annual campaign. In 2022, there were eight new corporate gifts and 15 new employee campaigns; 19 corporate gifts increased by 10% or more and 36 organizations increased donations by 10% or more. Additionally, 12 of our 42 partner agencies increased their employee campaigns by 5% or more. In total, the 2022 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign raised $9,003,424.

“To raise more than $9 million over the past year in a community the size of central Illinois is an incredible achievement. The Heart of Illinois United Way does not do this work alone. For a century, teams of nonprofits, volunteers, and donors have generously worked together to create sustainable impact on the education, financial stability, and health needs of central Illinois,” Dr. Keith Knepp, President of UnityPoint Health-Central Illinois and 2022 Campaign Chair, said.

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Women United Happier Hour on May 4, 2023 at Par-A-Dice Hotel, East Peoria

Thank you for everyone who joined us for our first Women United Happier Hour!

Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 2, 2024. We hope you’ll join us next year.

About the Event

Our Women United Happier Hour is a fun and relaxed evening to connect and volunteer! We hope you will join us next year for an appetizer buffet and cash bar, raffle, a volunteer fair for local agencies, and fun onsite volunteer opportunities … because research shows volunteering makes you happier!

For more information on the 2024 Women United Happier Hour, email Gina Edwards, VP of Marketing and Community Engagement, at .

Many thanks to our 2023 Underwriters and Sponsors:

Underwriters

Illinois Mutual

PNC

Sponsors

Teresa & Bernie Koch

Cullinan Properties, Ltd.

Davis & Campbell LLC

Photos from Our 2023 Women United Happier Hour

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Continuum of Care prepares for dropping temperatures, rising need

Kate Green, Executive Director of Home for All Continuum of Care at WCBU

Kate Green, Executive Director of Home for All Continuum of Care

Home for All Continuum of Care, a part of the Heart of Illinois United Way, is preparing for temperatures to drop and the need for warmth and shelter to rise.

“Rather than being the boots on the ground, the direct service, we’re really focusing on looking at the data,” said executive director Kate Green. “Understanding from a system level what’s happening and then allocating resources to help meet the need.”

Continuum of Care maintains close relationships with many Peoria area nonprofits and service organizations, so those resources can take many forms.

“It really is the beauty of the Continuum of Care model. That we’re able to pull in all these different sectors,” said Green. “So whether it’s our actual funded providers who are doing emergency shelter, street outreach, permanent housing, all the way to our healthcare organizations, educational institutions, they all play a role in touching the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness.”

Go to www.WCBU.org to read more.

Steve Montez Receives 2022 Hoot Gibson Award

L-R, Jennifer Zammuto, President with Steve Montez and Bob Gates, Board Chair

L-R, Jennifer Zammuto, President with Steve Montez and Bob Gates, Board Chair

Since 1985, the Heart of Illinois United Way has recognized a volunteer who spends countless hours working without fanfare to help others. Our annual Hoot Gibson Award is presented in memory of Horace J. “Hoot” Gibson, Jr. who pursued his goals in a quiet, determined matter, caring little if others knew of his accomplishments. In addition to serving on our health committee and as board secretary, Hoot’s hard work more than 40 years ago helped the Heart of Illinois United Way transition our allocation process to address prioritized needs. His leadership is the basis of how we continue to fund vital needs today.

Steve Montez, our 2022 Hoot Gibson honoree, has much in common with Hoot.

His volunteer support of our United Way began in 1985 on our fund distribution committee.

He left for a couple of years for graduate school, but came back in 1990, and served as a campaign ambassador. Since 1998, he as a volunteer grant reviewer for our Community Impact Fund and his support has helped us  strengthen families and enhance education opportunities for the people in central Illinois.

In 2019, he retired from a 35-year career as the Supervisor of Arts and Leisure Services with the Peoria Park District during which time his mission was to share his extensive experience and knowledge of building sustainable communities through quality recreation, supportive programming, and leisure opportunities.

During his career, Steve also served on the boards of several community groups including the Peoria Area Community Events (PACE), the Peoria Area Arts and Sciences Council, Arts Partners of Central Illinois, Peoria Players Theater, the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, the Heart of Illinois Senior Olympics, and the Return to Pimiteoui Pow Wow. He also served on the Illinois Arts Council Granting Committee and currently works with the Community Foundation’s Community Needs granting committee.

Beyond these contributions, he also devoted much of his time to another volunteer activity that is dear to his heart – coaching young people including youth baseball, soccer, and wrestling. As you might suspect, he is a sports enthusiast, but his passion is to use athletics as a vehicle for building leadership skills in youth.

Steve has long considered the Heart of Illinois United Way to be a positive force for change and mentorship in our community. He attributes his growth as a community member and a co-worker to his experience with United Way.  Congratulations to Steve Montez!

Freedom House Presented 2022 Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award

L-R Jennifer Zammuto, President with Jen Johnson and Michael Zerneck from Freedom House Staff and Bob Gates, Board Chair

L-R Jennifer Zammuto, President with Jen Johnson and Michael Zerneck from Freedom House Staff and Bob Gates, Board Chair

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 Tocqueville Society reception. Over the years, Jim and Katie 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.

At the 2022 Heart of Illinois United Way’s annual meeting on August 3, Freedom House was presented with this year’s award.

Founded in 1983 as a walk-in shelter, Freedom House serves more than 800 clients and provides more than 4,000 nights of shelter annually, plus countless hours of medical and legal advocacy, counseling, prevention education, and professional training.

Under the guidance of Executive Director Michael Zerneck, the agency has become a strong supporter of our organization. Since 2018, the first year the agency received funding, they have successfully administered and achieved outcomes for services that focus on intervention and counseling for individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

Over the last couple of years, the agency was a recipient of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Funds distributed by our United Way. Funds were used efficiently and effectively to provide emergency food and supplies, interim housing/emergency shelter, health and mental health care services, and direct financial assistance. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this agency provided strength and refuge for many individuals in the northern portion of our United Way’s service area.

With a mission to provide compassionate, confidential, free services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as awareness and prevention education, we were honored to present the 2022 Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award to Freedom House.

Heart of Illinois United Way Celebrates 100 Years of Community Impact and Announces 2021 Campaign Results

The Heart of Illinois United Way has proven time and again that we are built to support central Illinois in times like these. Through our Community Impact Fund, we are able to adapt to changing needs while providing a solid foundation of services year-round.

Each year, approximately 300 local companies and organizations participate in our annual campaign. In 2021, there were 14 new corporate gifts, 11 corporate gifts with a 10% or more increase, 22 new employee campaigns, and 53 organizations that increased their donations to the United Way by 10% or more. In total, the 2021 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign raised $9,115,359.

Annually, the Campaign Achievement and Best-in-Class Awards are one way the Heart of Illinois United Way recognizes local companies who improve their campaigns. Peoria Housing Authority received the Campaign Achievement Award for the largest percentage increase in employee participation; and Burklund Distributors, Inc. received the Best-in-Class Award for continued campaign excellence from year to year.

“As the Heart of Illinois United Way celebrates a century of community impact this year, we will continue our mission to help the people of central Illinois to care for one another. Just as our first campaign brought our community together for a common cause in January 1922, our work across sectors ensures we effectively stretch every dollar to make real change. An investment in our work is the best combination of using our hearts and trusting data to help the community we call home,” Jennifer Zammuto, President, said.

The Heart of Illinois United Way constantly evaluates data and collaborates with community partners to ensure personal and corporate donations to our Community Impact Fund address the greatest needs while providing a reliable and steady source of income for our partner agencies. Through the community’s generosity, the Heart of Illinois United Way ensures people in central Illinois have continued access to education, financial stability, and health programs.

“To raise more than $9 million over the past year in a community the size of central Illinois is an incredible achievement. The Heart of Illinois United Way does not do this work alone. For a century, teams of nonprofits, volunteers, and donors have generously worked together to create sustainable impact on the education, financial stability, and health needs of central Illinois,” Brian Ray, Regional President of PNC Bank and 2021 Campaign Chair, said.

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.

News about our 100th Anniversary Celebration!

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