Peoria has an exemplary history of philanthropy. It's a giving community that gives generously to meet the needs of the community. This praise is backed by evidence in past and current capital campaigns.
Bradley University's capital campaign in the late 1990s had a goal of $100 million and actually raised $127 million. Peoria's Glen Oak Park Zoo has announced significant pledges from Caterpillar and the Bielfeldt Foundation to its $25 million campaign. The Junior League and the Children's Museum have launched a $5 million campaign. Various churches throughout Peoria have embarked on campaigns to improve their facilities and have had very solid results. In addition, significant annual campaigns for the Children's Miracle Network, which benefits Children's Hospital of Illinois, the United Way of Peoria, the Salvation Army, and the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate, have each raised more than $1 million in the past few years.
A recent survey conducted by US Trust identified some key elements of motivation for giving by individuals. The top four reasons cited by at least half of the responders indicated these reasons may also motivate you and me:
Desire to support worthwhile causes.
Responsibility to share good fortune.
Help meet community's critical needs.
Help organizations that have benefited you or a friend.
In the near future, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Illinois will be asking the community of Peoria to help it expand and improve its health care facilities to better serve the children and adults of our region. The fact that we have a medical center and children's hospital combined with medical specialists connected to a college of medicine should bring pride to our community and should provide great comfort that we don't need to travel a long distance to receive quality medical care.
The facilities of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Illinois need to be expanded to provide more efficient and private care to those in need of it. The size of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatric Intensive Care Units needs to be expanded so the smallest and most critically ill patients can continue to receive compassionate, quality, and safe medical care. As both children and adult patients experience more acute illness and trauma, the greater efficiency of private rooms is highlighted. Of growing importance is the need to enlarge the Emergency Department. Expansion will enable staff to not only care for more patients, but also continue to effectively treat patients with life-threatening conditions, while still serving those with less severe injuries in a timely manner.
Peoria will be challenged over the next few years to address many community needs. The richness of its spiritual, cultural, and educational opportunities will be enhanced by generous support. Similarly, the ability to meet the medical needs of all patients in our community-from the premature infant to the elderly and many of us in between-will be dependent upon the generous support of Peoria and the central Illinois area. IBI