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.

Find out the latest news 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.

Karen Stecher Named 2019 Hoot Gibson Award Honoree

Karen Stecher was recently named our 2019 Hoot Gibson Award honoree for volunteerism to support the Heart of Illinois United Way!

Robert Brandfass, Board Chair-Elect and Karen Stecher, Hoot Gibson Honoree

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.

Doug & Vicky Stewart Honored as 2019 McCord Philanthropists of the Year

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.

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins with Vicky and Doug Stewart

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins with Vicky and Doug Stewart

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.

Central Illinois Friends and Hult Center Receive Partner Award for Collaboration

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.

Jennifer Zammuto, Deric Kilmer, Andrea Parker and Abby Clark

Jennifer Zammuto, Deric Kilmer, Andrea Parker and Abby Clark

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.

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Kate Green Appointed Executive Director of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care

The Heart of Illinois United Way is pleased to announce that Kate Green is the new Executive Director of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care.

Kate Green

The Heart of Illinois United Way is pleased to announce that Kate Green is the new Executive Director of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care.

Prior to joining the Heart of Illinois United Way, Green served on the City of Peoria’s Innovation Team and in the City Manager’s Office for six years. In her role, she was responsible for providing data analysis, best practice research, and connecting with other communities. Her work with governmental and non-governmental partners generated new solutions for systemic challenges. Green earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield and her Bachelor of Science Political Science and History from Bradley University.

“The Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care, both the committee and our partner organizations, is pleased to have Kate Green leading the Continuum of Care’s work to end homelessness in central Illinois. Her background in city government and community-wide collaborations will help us continue to address homelessness with a system that is sustainable and comprehensive,” Robert Brandfass, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for OSF HealthCare and Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care Chair, said.

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Peoria Magazine’s 2019 Community Impact Issue

The Heart of Illinois United Way partnered with Peoria Magazine for the launch of their annual Community Impact Issue on May 2 at Advanced Medical Transport. Approximately 100 guests from area nonprofits were in attendance and heard from guest speakers including Jennifer Zammuto, President, Heart of Illinois United Way; Jan Wright, Publisher, Peoria Magazines; Andrew Rand, CEO, Advanced Medical Transport; Abby Clark, Board Chair, Heart of Illinois United Way Board; Erik Christian, Community Investment Chair, Heart of Illinois United Way Board; and Jeff Gress, President and CEO, Crittenton Centers.

“As the largest investor in our community’s education, financial stability and health needs, the Heart of Illinois United Way ensures contributions to our organization are invested in the most efficient and effective programs that impact on the wellbeing of our community. In addition to the wealth of arts, entertainment, and business opportunities in central Illinois, we should not forget that at the heart of our community are vital services provided by local health and human care agencies. Day in and day out, these nonprofit organizations help real people in challenging situations, make positive change in their lives,” Zammuto said.

Peoria Magazine Releases New Community Impact Guide
https://hoiabc.com/news/2019/05/02/peoria-magazines-releases-2019-community-impact-guide/

Peoria Magazine Launches Annual Community Impact Issue
https://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/local-news/peoria-magazine-launches-annual-community-impact-issue/1974515505

The Art & Science of Philanthropy, by Jennifer Zammuto
https://www.peoriamagazines.com/pm/2019/may/art-and-science-philanthropy

Celebrate National Volunteer Week with Heart of Illinois Volunteers

(Peoria. IL) To celebrate National Volunteer Week, the Heart of Illinois United Way is excited to announce we are expanding access to our Heart of Illinois Volunteers online volunteer community (accessible via volunteer.hoiunitedway.org), to include eligible 501c3 nonprofit organizations and public schools in our region in addition to our family of partner agencies.

According to a recent study by Verified Volunteers, more than 97 percent of volunteers today want access to a local, online resource to learn about volunteer opportunities in their community. Heart of Illinois Volunteers is exclusively a web-based volunteer center matching individual and team volunteers to local needs.

Launched in 2018,  Heart of Illinois Volunteers has grown to 2,000 volunteer users throughout the community who contributed more than 8,500 volunteer hours last year.  Volunteers who utilize the site can search and register for volunteer needs, fan their favorite organizations, and track all of their volunteer hours through their account’s volunteer resume feature. Continue reading

Heart of Illinois United Way Celebrates 2018 Year-End Results

Each year, the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Community Impact Fund helps 100,000 people in central Illinois with their education, financial stability and health needs.

Through more than 80 funded programs at our partner agencies, along with special initiatives and collaborations that include the 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service, Success By 6, Supporting Student Success, and the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care, the Community Impact Fund positions the Heart of Illinois United Way as the largest, local organization to invest in critical health and human care programs.

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, government, nonprofit organizations and individuals, the 2018 campaign included 24 new corporate gifts, 21 increased corporate gifts, 29 new workplace campaigns, and 71 increased  workplace campaigns. Investments in the Heart of Illinois United Way’s 2018 Campaign totaled $10,322,920. Continue reading

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins Named Philanthropists of the Year

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, 2018 Philanthropists of the Year

Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, 2018 Philanthropists of the Year

Congratulations to Tom Jenkins and Katie McCord Jenkins, our 2018 Philanthropists of the Year! In honor of the McCord Family’s long-standing support of central Illinois, this annual United Way award is now named the McCord Philanthropists of the Year to recognize the legacy of Michel and Kay McCord. At the heart of their work, rooted in love, was a constant commitment to the community. Those honored with this award emulate the McCord’s values. Amy Epkins with Illinois Mutual Life Insurance Company, accepted the award at our October 5, 2018 Tocqueville Society Reception.

The Tocqueville Society is named in honor of 19th century French historian, Alexis de Tocqueville who made the important observation that Americans helped each other in times of need. He recognized, applauded and immortalized the voluntary spirit that lives in America’s heart and remains the foundation of the United Way. Continue reading

United Way Campaign Raises $7.7 Million To-Date

2018 Heart of Illinois United Way campaignThe 2018 Heart of Illinois United Way campaign has raised $7,761,550 to-date. With more than 300 local companies and organizations participating in workplace campaigns, many are still in progress at the mid-campaign point.

Paul and Colleen DiGiallonardo, 2018 Campaign Chairs, were at South Side Office of Concern (a United Way Partner Agency) on Tuesday, October 30 to discuss the progress of this year’s campaign.

As the largest non-governmental funder of health and human care programs in central Illinois, the Heart of Illinois United Way is dedicated to investing our community’s charitable resources efficiently and in a way that leads to positive, sustainable impact.

Focused on education, financial stability and health needs, the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Community Impact Fund is a reliable and steady source of income for 47 partner agencies in central Illinois. Every program funded by the Community Impact Fund is scored and evaluated by local volunteers to ensure programs meet identified outcomes and goals.

Each year, approximately one-third of the central Illinois population is helped by Heart of Illinois United Way funded programs. Continue reading

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