A Publication of WTVP

The Heart of Illinois United Way (HOIUW) recently set its 2007 fundraising goal for health and social service programs at $9 million, representing a six percent increase over the 2006 campaign total of $8.525 million. With this aggressive, yet achievable goal, the United Way hopes to continue the tremendous fundraising success it has seen over the past several years.

There are very few communities with similar populations that annually raise more than $8.5 million. When the 2007 goal is reached, the Heart of Illinois United Way will be recognized as a Metro I United Way chapter by the national trade association, United Way of America. Metro I is the highest recognition a local office can receive. Imagine our HOIUW listed with other financially top-performing United Way organizations in the major metropolitan areas of the country. That speaks volumes about the quality of leadership in our local chapter. As one of more than 1,300 United Way chapters across the nation, HOIUW will showcase central Illinois as a community that is committed to caring for one another through a network of vital programs and services which improve the quality of life for its residents.

Ironically, HOIUW’s 2007 goal of $9 million may also be important in attracting new employees and employers to central Illinois. A strong United Way campaign is another way our community demonstrates it has resources available for people with disabilities, comprehensive programs that provide counseling, emergency assistance, home-delivered meals and everyday services such as quality childcare and afterschool programs. A strong campaign indicates the financial strength and well-being of a community. Being a Metro I United Way chapter demonstrates that our local economy is competing on a national scale. It shows that, for a mid-market community, we demonstrate our care and compassion and embody the Midwestern values that central Illinoisans love to boast about.

Accountability and efficiency are qualities employers like to see in any company. Our HOIUW is accountable for every dollar it raises. Several years ago, a new system was implemented to measure the performance, accountability and objectives reached by agencies which receive HOIUW funds. There are very few social service agencies like HOIUW that can truly demonstrate the “return on investment” made in the community. The efficiency of HOIUW is clear and impressive. More than $0.90 out of every $1.00 raised by HOIUW goes toward the community funding programs and services in Marshall, Peoria, Putman, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties.

The annual kick-off announcement was made in September. During the remainder of the year, the 2007 United Way campaign will be going full-force. The HOIUW drive shows that when we work together, we make a greater difference than when we work alone. It is through your continued support that the HOIUW will be able to continue to assist more than 1,100 individuals who seek assistance from the 112 programs and 45 partner agencies. I hope that each of you will do all you can to help HOIUW reach this Metro I status. An organization which is run this well and does so much to address the needs of many of our friends and neighbors surely deserves it. IBI