The Heart of Illinois United Way funds community programs and services to promote education, financial stability and health in Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford Counties in Central Illinois.

Day of Caring Food Drive Collects 12,650 lbs of food!

To add a little friendly competition to this year’s food drive, the Heart of Illinois United encouraged local organizations to enter our “Can You Imagine” food drive structure/display contest.

The “Golden Can Awards” went to River City Construction for the “Weigh-A-Ton” category using 920 plus cans and boxes of food. The “With Flying Colors” category also went to River City Construction for their use of packaging and label colors for their “Baggin’ It Up” grocery bag demonstrating “Just imagine what this bag “CAN” do for our community!”. The “Variation on a Theme” award for their unique and creative theme went to South Side Strong, a collaboration between Crittenton Centers, FamilyCore, Common Place, Red Cross, Neighborhood House and Big Brothers Big Sisters, for their Converse Shoe demonstrating “Making an Impact One Step at a Time”. The “By Design” award went to Dewberry for their “Showing Our Colors” rainbow demonstrating a unique structure. And lastly, Farnsworth Group won the “You Really Like Me” category for the most likes and shares on United Way social media.

A very big thank you to PNC, our Day of Caring underwriter, and our food drive partners Federal Companies, Midwest Food Bank, WEEK-TV and WHOI-TV. Continue reading

Mike Bass from RSM honored with 2018 Hoot Gibson Award.

Since 1985, the Heart of Illinois United Way and IBM have recognized our community’s unsung heroes who spend countless hours working without fanfare to help others. Our annual Hoot Gibson award is presented in memory of Horace J. “Hoot” Gibson who was the manager of the Peoria IBM office for many years along with being an active volunteer for the United Way.

2018 Hoot Gibson honoree, Mike Bass

2018 Hoot Gibson honoree, Mike Bass

Whether it is for work or as a volunteer, our 2018 Hoot Gibson honoree, Mike Bass, is dedicated to serving nonprofit organizations and health care organizations. His responsibilities include delivery of tax compliance and planning advice to help clients achieve their business and personal objectives, as well as general advisory services. Serving on the Agency Financial Review Committee and the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care, Bass ensures our partner agencies and continuum members are operating at the highest levels of financial health and governance. His many professional affiliations, credentials and community involvement includes the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Vice President of the Central Illinois CPA Society Board, Illinois Central College Accounting Advisory Committee, and boys basketball coach for Union Mission in Pekin.

Friday, September 7 – 2018 Day of Caring Volunteer Event and Food Drive

The 2018 Heart of Illinois United Way's annual Day of Caring brings together volunteers from local companies and organizations to help our partner agencies and schools. Projects include helping with our food drive, reading and crafts with preschool children, landscaping, painting and more.The Heart of Illinois United Way’s annual Day of Caring brings together volunteers from local companies and organizations to help our partner agencies and schools. Projects include helping with our food drive, reading and crafts with preschool children, landscaping, painting and more. Last year, more than 1,650 volunteers provided more than 6,600  hours of work. And with demand at area food pantries continuing to rise, don’t forget to register for our Day of Caring Food Drive. In Illinois, 1 in 7 adults and 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger and lack access to the food they need to lead healthy, active lives. People throughout central Illinois need your help. Last year, our Day of Caring Food Drive collected more than 23,000 lbs of food for families in need.

  • Friday, September 7, 2018
  • Morning and afternoon volunteer opportunities available
  • Food Drive Collection Day is 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Peoria Civic Center (parking lot, corner of Kumpf and Jefferson)
  • Click here for more information!

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Congratulations to South Side Office of Concern our 2018 Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award recipient.

David Lubben, SSOC Board of Trustees Vice President; David McGinty, SSOC Board of Trustees President; Sara Runyon, Chief Operating Officer; Christine Kahl, CEO; Tim Neuhauser, Past HOIUW Board Chair; Robert Cober, Chief Financial Officer; Janda Carter, SSOC Board of Trustees Secretary/Treasurer; Jim Jorgensen, SSOC Board of Trustees Member; Kristen Berchtold, Director of Development

David Lubben, SSOC Board of Trustees Vice President; David McGinty, SSOC Board of Trustees President; Sara Runyon, Chief Operating Officer; Christine Kahl, CEO; Tim Neuhauser, Past HOIUW Board Chair; Robert Cober, Chief Financial Officer; Janda Carter, SSOC Board of Trustees Secretary/Treasurer; Jim Jorgensen, SSOC Board of Trustees Member; Kristen Berchtold, Director of Development

Since 2007, the  Heart of Illinois United Way has recognized on partner agency each year for their outstanding leadership, collaboration and engagement with the United Way. At the United Way’s 2018 Annual Meeting, South Side Office of Concern received the Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award.

A member of the Heart of Illinois United Way family of agencies since 1986, SSOC was founded more than 35 years ago to feed the hungry and provide information and referral to help neighborhood members improve their lives eventually leading to the foundation of the Peoria Anti-Hunger Coalition.

United Way funding in 1986 provided case management and services for people with disabilities. Growth continued and the agency began receiving funding for mental health services from the Illinois Department of Human Services. In 1989, the agency secured funding from HUD and purchased its first house to begin a community housing program.   Throughout the 1990s, permanent supportive housing offerings continued to expand with the acquisition of additional houses for adult males with mental health issues.  An employment program began in 1996 to complement the growing agency’s identified gaps in its services.
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Heart of Illinois United Way Announces New President

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. Continue reading

Announcement from Heart of Illinois United Way President

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

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

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…