Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

'United We Fight. United We Win.' Campaign Kicks-Off

 “United we fight. United we win. Will you join the fight?”

With this call to action, Efrat Feferman, United Way of Monroe County Executive Director, kicked off the 2017-2018 “United We Fight. United We Win.” fundraising campaign surrounded by United Way volunteers, workplace supporters, and community members. 

 Visit the event photo album

During the September 20th luncheon, attendees were encouraged to join together and fight to meet the growing needs in our community. United, we can ensure that everyone in our community has the opportunity to learn more, earn more, and lead a safer and healthier life. Locally 41% of school children qualify for free or reduced lunches, and hunger does not end when the school bell rings. Even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, hundreds of local low-income families are ineligible for, or unable to afford, health coverage. While 49% of United Way member agency clients are employed, they still face tough choice to make ends meet.

Funds raised during the campaign remain local to support effective programs. United Way works with 25 member agencies and many other local partners fighting for the education, earnings opportunity, and the essential needs of everyone in the community. United Way supports programs fighting for lasting change while also helping people get back on their feet today. Each donation is vital – every dollar helps United Way and its member agencies and community partners fight to improve the lives of all residents, including those who are most vulnerable. To see how donations are hard at work throughout the year, visit

Every day United Way and its network of highly-qualified member agencies fight for our neighbors so everyone has a true chance at a better life. By having access to the right assistance, people can better face their difficult, and usually complex, realities. United Way supports a range of services like healthy meals, after-school programs, job supports, senior services, safe housing, and health care that can help people create wins, whether large or small. When the community works together, everyone is stronger. United Way donors turn lives around every day.

Glen Hopkins, director of member agency RBB School Assistance Fund, spoke about the power of United Way member agencies working together. “The RBB Assistance Fund works together with home and community partners to help our students obtain their basic needs to reach their full potential. Our children will be winners in the classroom, thanks to our fight, together. I applaud the other 24 member agencies for the work they do each day to help provide education, earnings, and essentials to meet critical needs today, and to reduce those needs in the future. Each month, we come together as 25 individual agencies, united for this common purpose. Monroe County is stronger each day thanks our agencies fighting as one collective group, and winning, under the umbrella of the United Way.”

Leslie Green, CEO of member agency Stone Belt shared, ”The financial support we receive from the campaign helps us to provide nursing services such as preventive and consultative care to our clients. It helps us keep individuals with disabilities more fully supported and productive in the workforce. But being a recipient of financial support is only part of the benefit of being a United Way agency. We join with the other United Way member agencies to strengthen the community. It is an effective way to reach so many and to do so much good.”

United Way Executive Director Efrat Feferman spoke to harnessing the caring power of our community, “It really does take a village to tackle the evolving challenges out there, and no one sector, no one agency, no one individual can do it alone. Want to make a difference every single day? So do we. Fight with us to create the town that you want to live in, that you want to bring people to and you want your kids to stay in. Help the organizations who come together to make life better in Bloomington, Ellettsville, Spencer and every house and farm in between.”

Feferman continued, “Our agencies know how to end hunger, they know how to help kids finish high school, they know how to help people get and keep good jobs, and they know how everyone can benefit from and contribute to their community. They share your vision... now they need your help. These dollars touch 1 in 3 lives in our very own community. An investment in United Way is an investment in your friends, family, and neighbors. We are all in this together.”

Campaign leadership was also recognized. Wendy Hernandez of IU Health Bloomington and Denise Lessow of Pinnacle Learning Center will serve as Campaign Co-Chairs, and Jim Grandorf, Indiana University Emeritus Professor of Accounting, will serve as the Vanguard Chair.

Denise Lessow, United Way Campaign Co-Chair rallied fellow supporters. Lessow brought to light that, “Individuals and families without jobs, without education, without the right supports, and without a sense of direction or the future, are more vulnerable to homelessness, drugs, violence, and despair. Together with United Way, and our member agencies and initiatives, you help provide these individuals and families with the opportunities and the tools to have a brighter future. Thank you for joining the fight to help people learn more, earn more, and lead safer and healthier lives.”

During the event, outgoing United Way Executive Director Barry Lessow was recognized for his service. United Way Board President Kate Gagnon remarked, “For your many years of tireless, dedicated, around-the-clock leadership to our United Way and to our community, it is a privilege to extend deepest thanks on behalf of the board. As you undoubtedly remain a dedicated volunteer in years to come, the board wishes to acknowledge the role we hope you’ll retain by bestowing upon you the title of Executive Director Emeritus, United Way of Monroe County.”

Those interested in joining the fight for education, earnings opportunity, and essential needs for everyone in the community can visit United Way’s web site at and securely donate online via credit card. Donors can also download a pledge card and contribute in the form of cash, check, credit card, automatic bank withdrawal, stocks and securities, or can choose to be billed. Those participating in workplace campaigns can contribute via payroll deduction.

Any company interested in having a workplace campaign or any group that would like a presentation about United Way or one of our member agencies is encouraged to contact Resource Development Director Trent Deckard at trent (at) or 812-334-8370 ext. 13.

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