Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

United Way Celebrates Volunteers & Successful Campaign

April 27, 2017 – United Way of Monroe County celebrated the conclusion of its 2016-2017 “Empowering your Community. One Donation at a Time.” fundraising campaign on Wednesday, April 26 at the Hoosier Energy Board Room. Thanks to generous donors, the campaign raised $1,300,363.

Thank You for Empowering
Your Community!

Funds raised during the campaign stay local to support effective programs strengthening the building blocks of a better life – Education, Earnings, and the Essentials. United Way works with 25 member agencies and many other partners to help everyone in the community learn more, earn more, and lead a safer and healthier life. Each donation is vital – every dollar helps provide local people and their families with opportunities to improve their education, increase their economic mobility, and have access to life’s essentials like housing, food, health care, and help during a crisis. United Way supports initiatives and member agency programs that strengthen the Monroe, Owen, and Greene communities in the long-run, while also helping people get back on their feet today.

During the event, guests were treated to performances by Crystal Becker, a client of member agency Stone Belt Arc, and Violin Class studetns from member agency Boys & Girls Clubs.

Barry Lessow, United Way Executive Director, commended those who helped with the campaign. “Thank you for caring about kids who want to read a book... and seniors who need a ramp so they can live in their own home. Thank you for caring about families preparing for their first baby... and for families who work hard but have trouble making ends meet. Thank you for caring about people with diabetes... and people born with conditions that 50 years ago meant a lifetime in an institution and now can mean a life of work and creativity. And thank you for taking that caring and channeling it into action... your work, your dedication, your support of United Way will continue to empower your community throughout 2017 and years beyond.”

Lauren Robel, IU Provost and Executive Vice President, and strong advocate for United Way, commented, “When we support United Way, we’re honoring all the ways that we are connected within this community. For many years, United Way has been one of the strongest points of connection between the IU Bloomington campus and the wider Monroe County community. The annual campus fundraising campaign is always exciting, and this year’s was no exception. Through the coordinated efforts of our campus community, we raised more than $800,000 to support United Way’s efforts here in Monroe County.”

Jim Grandorf, Clinical Professor at Kelley School of Business and Co-Chair of the Vanguard Leadership Giving program, thanked those who were committed to giving generously so United Way and its member agencies could improve the lives of people living in our community. “Vanguard results showed modest improvement from last year, and we thank all the continuing and new leadership givers.  Many Vanguards increased their gifts, which helped United Way earn its matching grant. The percentage of donations to the Community Action Fund also continued to increase, which is an indicator people see the unique value United Way offers by focusing on larger, multi-agency solutions.” The Vanguard Leadership Giving Programs recognizes gifts of $1,000 or more and the Young Leaders Society is comprised of those under age 40 who donate $500 or more.

United Way ensures people in our community have a good education, build their earnings, and can afford the essentials for their families. We focus on helping people now, and on creating long-term solutions to the most pressing issues in our community.

Throughout the “Empowering Your Community. One Donation at a Time.” fundraising campaign the story of Jamie was shared. Jamie, a child, is similar to many in our community who want to succeed, but face obstacles. Like 41% of local children, Jamie qualifies for the free and reduced lunch program. Jamie’s parents work hard, but it can be difficult to make ends meet. They want to provide a safe home for Jamie and his little sister to learn and grow. Thankfully, with the help of United Way, its network of member agencies, and generous donors, Jamie and his family are able to thrive.

Jamie’s story illustrates the impact of each donation and how United Way and its member agencies work together to ensure each person and family has greater educational opportunities, economic mobility, and access to the essentials.

Donations to United Way stay local and make it possible for our network of member agencies and community partners to ensure:
•    children, youth, and adults achieve their potential through Education;
•    hard working people build their Earnings; and
•    everyone has access to the Essentials, like food, housing, health care, and help during a crisis.

A sampling of how donations are empowering community members:
•    Providing groceries and healthy meals to low-income families helps them stretch their budgets further.
Why it matters: Locally, 41% of children qualify for free or reduced lunch at school. Those food needs don’t end when the school bell rings.

•    Providing door-to-door trips for a senior unable to drive can allow them to stay in their homes.
Why it matters: With the right modifications and support, most seniors can remain independent and in their own homes longer.

•    Providing flu vaccines to high-risk, low-income patients helps them prepare for the winter months.
Why it matters: Even with the passage of federal legislation, hundreds of local low-income families are ineligible for, or unable to afford, health coverage. Preventing and treating chronic and acute illnesses keeps people from needing expensive emergency care and allows them to be more productive at work and home.

•    Preventing homelessness for an at-risk family.
Why it matters: Losing a place to live is expensive and destabilizing. 42% of United Way member agency clients are employed, but often face tough choices to make ends meet.

•    Providing transportation for kids to attend daily high-quality after-school care while their parents remain at work.
Why it matters: Parents with reliable childcare are more likely to keep stable employment and improve their economic situation.

•    Providing job support so a person with developmental disabilities can maintain employment helping him become more self-sufficient.
Why it matters: Only 36% of working age people with developmental disabilities who want jobs are employed.

•    Providing young children with high-quality childcare.
Why it matters: 85% of brain growth happens by age 5. Robust early learning experiences are critical for kids to get a smart start in life.

Campaign Leadership was recognized during the event. Talisha Coppock, Downtown Bloomington Inc. Executive Director, served as the Campaign Chair. She was joined by Vanguard Co-Chairs, Jim Grandorf, Indiana University Kelley School of Business Clinical Professor, and Mark Franklin, German American Bank Region President.

Several workplaces received awards for their outstanding contributions to the campaign.

Indiana University, IU Health Bloomington Hospital, and IU Credit Union received the Community Builder Award for their generous contributions to the United Way campaign.

The Mary Alice Gray Memorial Award for extraordinary volunteer service was presented to Doris Burton. This award recognizes United Way volunteers who have made a significant and sustained contribution to the organization. Doris has been involved with United Way since 1971, joining the United Way Board in 1999, serving on several committees and leading the United Way campaign at Indiana University. She has remained involved with United Way since then and, for the past nine years, served as a member of the IU Campaign Cabinet and co-chaired the IU retirees' campaign.

Other award winners include:

  • Spirit Award: Ted Jackson, Indiana University Health Bloomington
    The Spirit Award is for the volunteer who energized colleagues to make their United Way workplace campaign more successful.
  • Business Partner of the Year: German American
    The Business Partner of the Year is for a business that has contributed significant time, treasure, and talent to help United Way positively impact the community.
  • Small Business Campaign of the Year: Printpack
    The Small Business Campaign of the Year recognizes a local small business that conducted an outstanding United Way campaign
  • Member Agency Campaign of the Year: Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation
    The Member Agency Campaign of the Year recognizes the United Way member agency that has conducted an outstanding workplace campaign.
  • Community Investor Award:
    Those organizations that meet the community’s critical and emerging needs by dedicating 75% or more of donations to the United Way Community Action Fund or Priority Funds.
  • AAA Hoosier Motor Club
  • Achelis & Bodman Foundation
  • Amethyst House
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Bill C. Brown Associates
  • Bloomingdales
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington
  • Catholic Charities-Bloomington
  • City of Bloomington
  • Comcast
  • Duke Energy
  • Eli Lilly and Co.
  • Enterprise
  • Farm Bureau Insurance
  • Federal Express
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • The Gap and GapKids, Inc.
  • German American
  • Girls Incorporated of Monroe County
  • Golden Hands Construction
  • Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
  • H & R Block
  • Harmony School/Rhino’s
  • The Herald-Times
  • Hilliard Lyons
  • Hoosier Energy
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank
  • IBEW #725
  • Indiana Legal Services
  • Indiana State Employees Community Campaign
  • Indiana University
  • IU Credit Union
  • IU Health Bloomington Hospital
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kirby Risk Electrical Supply Company
  • Kroger
  • Macy’s
  • Meadowood Retirement Community
  • Monroe County Community School Corporation
  • Monroe County Government
  • Monroe County United Ministries
  • NCAA
  • New Hope Family Shelter
  • Old National Bank
  • People and Animal Learning Services
  • Pinnacle Learning Services
  • Printpack
  • Regions Bank
  • Shalom Community Center

United Way of Monroe County improves people’s lives by addressing critical needs today and working to reduce those needs tomorrow. Through its Community Action Fund and grant initiatives, United Way works with 25 member agencies and community partners to focus resources on the building blocks for a better life: education, earning, and the essentials.

  • Born Learning
  • Financial Stability Alliance
  • Monroe Smart Start
  • Familywize Discount Prescription Card
  • Bank On Bloomington