Issues such as poverty, family separation, lack of safety, loss of livelihoods, disrupted social networks, and common mental health issues often double in a humanitarian crisis. That’s why the education, financial stability and health programs supported by the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Community Impact Fund are so important during times of crisis … and year-round. Donations made to the Heart of Illinois United Way to support local COVID-19 needs will be invested back into our community through our partner agencies using our data-driven process. Learn more on our donation page.
Caterpillar Foundation is matching their employee and retiree gifts for COVID-19 support through April 20. For more information on how to support COVID-19 needs in the heart of Illinois, as a Caterpillar employee/retiree or as the general public through United Way, learn more on our donation page.
When she joined the Heart of Illinois United Way as president last year, Jennifer Zammuto brought to the organization more than 24 years of experience in philanthropy, communications, strategic planning, consulting, team building and project management. Now at the helm of the largest non-governmental funder of health and human care programs in central Illinois, she provides innovation, collaboration, leadership and vision for a diverse team of high-performing leaders, volunteers and staff—all working together to address our region’s greatest needs. Her diverse life experiences and career path have primed her to be the perfect team player, leading the way to the greater collective good.
Read Jennifer Zammuto’s Q&A in the December 2019 issue of Peoria Magazine at https://www.peoriamagazines.com/pm/2019/dec/jennifer-zammuto
Each year, vital health and human care programs supported by the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Community Impact Fund positively impact the lives of 1-in-3 people in central Illinois.
Through the Community Impact Fund, the Heart of Illinois United Way collaborates with health and human care agencies, schools, businesses, labor organizations and local government to ensure the fundamentals of education, financial stability and health are available from birth through retirement.
Last year, more than 300 local companies and organizations participated in the Heart of Illinois United Way’s annual campaign. With the support of the local businesses, labor organizations, nonprofit organizations and individuals, the 2019 campaign included 13 new corporate gifts, 29 new employee campaigns, and 54 organizations that increased their donations by 10 percent or more. Investments in the Heart of Illinois United Way’s 2019 Campaign totaled $10,077,577.
“Just like when we depend on a broker for expertise in navigating the stock market, the Heart of Illinois United Way is constantly evaluating data and collaborating with community partners to ensure personal and corporate donations to the United Way have the greatest return on investment. Collectively, our current fund allocation volunteers represent more than 500 years of experience determining the best return on investment for United Way contributions,” Jennifer Zammuto, President, said.
As the largest non-governmental funder of health and human care programs in central Illinois, Heart of Illinois United Way funded programs result in measurable, positive change in central Illinois. Donations to the Community Impact Fund result in more than 80 percent of youth in our education programs improve school readiness and go on to achieve academic success; more than 85 percent of low-income individuals, families, seniors and persons with developmental disabilities are able to live independently in affordable homes; and more than 85 percent of adults and youth improve their overall physical and mental health.
“We want to thank our amazing volunteers and donors. Without them we could not invest in, nor support, the critical needs of our community through our grant allocation process. We sincerely appreciate the generosity and support of central Illinois,” Zammuto added.
Since 2012, the Heart of Illinois United Way has presented two 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 2019 Best in Class Award winner is Fortress Bank. The Campaign Achievement Award recognizes a campaign that had the largest percentage increase in employee participation. This year’s Campaign Achievement Award winner is The Salvation Army.
The 2020 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign will be chaired by Seth Davis (RLI) and Sylvia Davis.
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.
“Most importantly, we need to remember at the end of all of our fundraising efforts are real people, living in challenging situations, that need the support of our partner agencies and schools to positively change their lives,” Zammuto said.
Access to quality education provides youth and adults with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve success in all stages of life. When a community invests in local education programs, it directly impacts the financial stability and health of the community and the people who call it home. For many students, the path to academic success is not a straight line, as factors outside of the classroom can inhibit learning even more than an understanding of the material. From meeting basic needs to providing support for social-emotional issues, addressing these key factors is essential to ensure students of all ages are ready to learn when they take a seat at their desk.
Read more in the September 2019 issue of Peoria Magazine at https://www.peoriamagazines.com/pm/2019/sep/community-impacts-success
The Heart of Illinois United Way kicked off our 2019 Community Campaign on Friday, September 6 with a breakfast, volunteer event and food drive. Our thanks to PNC for underwriting our kickoff events.
This summer, more than 40 Pacesetters celebrated the United Way and its impact on central Illinois. With lots of special events and fun and games, this year’s Pacesetters worked hard raising more than $1.3 million to-date.
“Thank you to everyone for joining us to kick off the 2019 Campaign. Brooke and I feel so fortunate to partner with you to raise funds for the Heart of Illinois United Way and its partner agencies that work tirelessly to ensure everyone in our community has the opportunity to thrive and has a place to call home,” Patrick Urich, 2019 Campaign Co-Chair, said.
The community’s generous support of the United Way is vital to positively changing lives. Each year, one in three people in our community rely on United Way funded programs and initiatives to improve their education, financial stability and health. Through a data driven process, our United Way evaluates local, critical health and human care trends and applies this ongoing research to our Community Impact Fund grant process. This invests your donations to the Heart of Illinois United Way strategically while providing the best philanthropic return on investment.
Karen Stecher was recently named our 2019 Hoot Gibson Award honoree for volunteerism to support the Heart of Illinois United Way! Whether it is for work, or as a volunteer, Karen is dedicated to serving nonprofit organizations both locally and nationally. As a Community Impact Fund volunteer grant reviewer since 2006, Karen support has positively impacted the health of the people in central Illinois.
As a former member of GENeration United, she also shares her extensive experience in external and internal communications as an invaluable member of our United Way Marketing Committee since 2008. And last year, she was responsible for managing our annual Power of the Purse silent auction that netted more than $100,000 to support the Community Impact Fund and childhood hunger initiatives.
Our annual Hoot Gibson award is presented in memory of Horace J. “Hoot” Gibson who spent countless hours working without fanfare to help others.
The 2019 recipients of the McCord Philanthropists of the Year are Doug and Vicky Stewart who have been great supporters of nonprofits throughout central Illinois for more than 40 years including chairing the 2013 Heart of Illinois United Way Campaign. Now retired, they continue to be philanthropic leaders in our community.
Through Doug’s previous work as Regional President of PNC Bank, he still found time to teach at Bradley University and Illinois Central College along with several other financial educational programs. He has served on several nonprofit boards including the Bradley University Board of Trustees as Chairman of the Board, the Bielfeldt Foundation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum Development Committee, Children’s Home, PeoriaNEXT, the Heartland Partnership and the CEO Council.
Before retiring, Vicky was the Vice President of Planning and Organizational Effectiveness at Illinois Central College. In 2006, she received the Athena Award for her work in elementary and secondary education and for her dedication to organizations that support women’s professions. She has served on the OSF St. Francis Medical Center Community Advisory Board, the Peoria Riverfront Museum Board, and the Quest Charter Academy Board.
Established in 2007, the Heart of Illinois Philanthropists of the Year Award has recognized members of our Tocqueville Society for their leadership, dedication and inspiration. In 2018, in honor of the McCord Family’s long-standing support of central Illinois. Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, 2018 McCord Philanthropists of the Year, presented this year’s award to Doug and Vicky Stewart.
The Hult Center for Healthy Living and Central Illinois Friends of PWA received the Heart of Illinois United Way’s 2019 Partner Award for their work within area schools to provide student-driven, positive education and prevention focused on STIs, teen pregnancy, date rape, mental health and more.
As reported in the United Way’s 2017 Peoria Area Community Assessment, central Illinois leads the entire state in STI ratios per population. Together, the Hult Center’s Teen Talk, in collaboration with Central Illinois Friends’ Get Yourself Tested program, are making a positive impact on at-risk youth in central Illinois.