Through the effort of the United Way of Clark, Champaign & Madison Counties’ 2015 Annual Campaign, over $1,074,121.24 will be invested back into communities to address health, education and income challenges. Over 57 agencies operating in the tri-county area will receive funding to provide 69 programs. For the first time, United Way will earmark $26,561 to help communities respond to needs that arise during the year.
Kerry Pedraza, United Way’s executive director, said that the funds will be used to address a full spectrum of community needs: providing kindergarten readiness, literacy and supporting school achievement; bolstering hospice, prescription assistance and credit counseling services; and helping to make housing, food and substance abuse recovery programs available to those in greatest need.
“All the work done by United Way agencies is made possible by the generosity of people in all three counties, helped by a network of employers whose payroll deduction plans make individual philanthropy a part of everyday life in our communities.” Pedraza said. “This time of year, we have a chance to again feel grateful to all who support United Way.”
Under the campaign leadership of Andrew and Amy Donahoe, the Champaign County Campaign not only funded 21 programs, but $10,000 has been reserved to establish an endowment fund earmarked for Champaign County programs.
“An endowment fund is an investment in Champaign County,” Amy Donahoe stated. Andrew Donahoe remarked, “With the success of this year’s campaign, this seemed the perfect time to make that commitment.”
A new allocation to the Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center will support kindergarten readiness programs, complementing the ongoing readiness programs at the Champaign Family YMCA. This year’s distribution also provides a first-time $8,500 grant to the Champaign Family & Children’s First’s Botvin LifeSkills drug abuse prevention program.
Among other important Champaign County organizations receiving United Way Support are the Caring Kitchen, the Cancer Association, Community Med Assist, WellSpring and V.A.LE., which provides crucial guardianship relationships to help manage the affairs of people unable to manage for themselves.
Champaign County allocations
Boy Scouts, $3,105; Champaign County Cancer Association, $17,319; Caring Kitchen, $30,000; Catholic Charities, $17,000; Champaign Family & Children First Council, $8,500; Community Action Organization, $5,000; Consolidated Care, $10,000; Community Mercy Hospice, $7,440; Community Mercy Med Assist, $20,000; Girl Scouts, $1,562; Green Hills Retirement Center, $1,444; LifeCare Alliance, $454; Madison Champaign ESC Preschool, $1,000; Senior Center, $2,774; Project Woman, $4,744; Red Cross, $5,242; Wellspring, $13,000; YMCA, $13,500; and VALE, $10,020.
Madison and Clark counties
“Because the Clark County campaign raised more than last year and because there was less pledge loss than anticipated, more dollars were committed to 24 agencies representing 36 programs,” stated 2015 and 2016 campaign chairperson Peter Noonan.
The stronger financial picture made it possible to provide more support to the Clark County Literacy Coalition’s English as a Second Language and Basic Literacy programs and Interfaith Hospitality Network’s Mulberry Terrace program to help people transition out of homelessness. “We see both as important community priorities,” Pedraza said.
The Springfield Family YMCA received support to address adult diabetes, along with a new hybrid program that adds an element of support for school achievement to youth water safety classes.
Clark County grants support stalwart organizations ranging from scouting to the Second Harvest Foodbank, The Rocking Horse Center to Oesterlen Services for Youth, GraceWorks, WellSpring and the Springfield Promise Neighborhood.
In Madison County, 14 nonprofits will receive funding, offering 17 programs to help address needs in the community such as Meals on Wheels, Hospice, school-based counseling and mentoring, domestic violence and health-related assistance. Two new programs in the county were funded: A Help at Home Program for seniors in need of assistance in their homes through LifeCare Alliance as well as a program through Mental Health Services to support recovery of addicts in the face of the sweeping addiction crisis. “United Way is always trying to adjust to changing needs of our communities, and this additional funding is an obvious example,” Pedraza said.
Patrick Closser, chairperson of the 2015 and 2016 campaign, states, “As we announce the funding from the 2015 Campaign and gear up for the 2016 Campaign, we want to thank and recognize the wonderful generosity over the years both to our faithful donors as well as the companies that encourage and support the campaign. It’s also a reminder of the importance of every donation we receive and the challenge ahead of us as our area’s population ages and our long-time donors move into retirement.”
In addition to supporting the county distributions, United Way contributions support two additional programs housed within United Way. 2-1-1 is a centralized program that allows people in need to connect with services in their community by dialing that three-digit number on the phone or by navigating to the Web page http://uwccmc.org/2-1-1. Volunteers United (http://uwccmc.galaxvdigital.com) is a centralized hub to locate nonprofits and/or organizations in need of volunteers or in-kind donations such as clothing, hygiene items, etc.
Submitted by United Way of Clark, Champaign & Madison Counties.