Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

2019 Day of Action

Faces were aglow with excitement as young learners opened their new literacy backpacks. Thanks to the work of nearly 30 volunteers and generous sponsors, 600 children throughout Monroe County received a backpack as part of the United Way Day of Action on Friday, October 11.  
Literacy backpacks were filled with age-appropriate interactive tools for kids in pre-K through sixth grade and an encouraging handwritten card. From crayons, decorated pencil cases, and colorful erasers to bookmarks, books, and writing tablets, each kit was designed to help ignite a love for reading, as well as help children strengthen their literacy skills.  
“Unfortunately, children in low-income households typically have fewer books in their home, a measure correlated with success throughout life,” explained United Way of Monroe County Executive Director Efrat Feferman. “Projects such as this Day of Action, along with our ongoing literacy programs, help even out the playing field and give every child in our community the opportunity to achieve in school and beyond.” 
Volunteers included community members and representatives from eleven workplaces and organizations in our community: Old National Bank, Duke Energy, Mutual Bank, Indiana University, Lexia Learning, IU Student United Way, Printpack, Hillard-Lyons, City of Bloomington, Kiwanis Club of South Central Indiana, IU Health, and Ivy Tech Community College.  
Julie Flott, who serves on the Indiana University United Way Campaign Cabinet volunteered for the entire day, helping with all four shifts and with delivering backpacks. 
“I think it really means a lot to help children get a head start,” she said. “It makes you feel like you can really do something to help someone.” 
The first batch of backpacks went to the Monroe County United Ministries Compass Early Learning Center. Feferman and Stacy Howell, a representative from Duke Energy, handed out the backpacks to eager pre-K students, who immediately opened them up. Some began flipping through their new books, and others started writing in their workbooks with their new crayons. 
“The children were so excited to pull everything out of their kits to see what they had received,” said Howell. “I asked a few of them if I could come back and have them read to me. They all beamed with excitement, and seeing their smiling faces made me happy for the rest of the day.” 
Backpacks were also delivered to five other United Way member agencies: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington, Girls Inc. of Monroe County, Middle Way House, and New Hope for Families. These members agencies then distributed the backpacks to children who use their services. 
This Day of Action was made possible by generous support from presenting sponsors Duke Energy and Old National Bank and social sponsor BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant.  
“The Duke Energy Foundation is honored to join with such an exceptional community partner as Old National Bank to support the United Way Day of Action program,” said Duke Energy Government and Community Relations Manager Bruce Calloway. “This is a wonderful example of collaboration between the public and private sectors to support the communities we serve.” 
Scott Shishman, Old National Bank regional president, relayed, “We are very proud to team up with Duke in order to serve our community. Old National Bank is a strong supporter of United Way and the wonderful work that they do for all of us.” 
Without this kind of support from the community, projects like the Day of Action would not be possible. 
“We are immensely grateful to all the community members, volunteers, and sponsors who support United Way and help make projects like the Day of Action possible” Feferman said. “Through such partnerships, we continue to strengthen our community, and every person in it.” 


Do you want to strengthen our community?

Please consider donating to the United Way Community Action Fund. Your gift to the Community Action Fund is invested in local member agencies and United Way collaborative initiatives. Giving to the Community Action Fund is the best way to ensure the community's critical social service needs can be met. It also supports investments in local people so they have building blocks for opportunity. 

Want to learn more about the impact of your donation? Read about it here.

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