April/May 2019
Join in the Thursday, May 9th breakfast discussion focused on "Evicted! Poverty, Policy, and the Law"
'Evicted! Poverty, Policy, and the Law" at next Wake Up! with United Way

Reserve your spot for Thursday, May 9th Wake Up! with United Way breakfast discussion on “Evicted! Poverty, Policy, and the Law” with panelists Marcy Wenzler from the Housing Law Center at Indiana Legal Services, Sarah Boomsma from the Bloomington Housing Authority, and a participant from SCCAP's Thriving Connections program. 

Join friends and co-workers from 7:45-9 a.m. at The Mill to examine structural and individual factors leading to evictions, effective interventions, and the after-effects on individuals and our community. Come with your questions for our panel or just listen and learn! 

RSVP for the Tuesday, May 7th information session to learn how free Financial Coaching program can help you!
Financial Coaching Enrollment Open

It is time to take control of your financial future! On Tuesday, May 7th, United Way is hosting a kick-off event to encourage Monroe, Owen, and Greene county residents to reach their goals by participating in a free one year Financial Coaching program.

Since the program's introduction in 2018, 16 participants each saved an average $2,674, paid off $2,740 in debt, and accomplished many other significant financial goals. This innovative program pairs participants with a professional financial coach who helps them create personalized goals and then systematically works towards achieving them.

The kick-off will start promptly at 6  p.m., wrap-up at 7 p.m., and take place at United Way of Monroe County (431 S. College Ave., Bloomington). Light refreshments and free childcare provided.

Help Stamp Out Hunger on Saturday, May 11th by placing a bag of non-perishable food by your mailbox.
Join Matt Hovious to Stamp Out Hunger!

On Saturday, May 11th, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will be collecting food donations placed at mailboxes for its annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Matt Hovious, NALC Branch 828 member and Stamp Out Hunger volunteer, got involved as a way to help his union and the community at large. Each year, he has been one of thousands of volunteer mail carriers distributing food to those in need along their daily routes, but this year has stepped up to help organize the event here in Monroe County.

“Stamp Out Hunger is a way for me to give back because I know I have it really well and it’s a way for me to contribute back to the community and the people around me who may be going through tough times,” continues Hovious. “It’s how I show my appreciation and how I teach my kids to be generous and try to help those in need.” 

When asked what motivates the NALC to put this event on, regardless of weather, each year, Hovious said, “We do it because it’s the right thing to do. It’s something I hope, if I was in need, somebody would do for me.” 

Tour the new United Way office on Thursday, May 2nd during an Open House & Ribbon Cutting!
Open House/Ribbon Cutting

Join United Way for an Open House and Ribbon Cutting to celebrate our recent relocation to 431 S College Ave. This family-friendly event will take place on Thursday, May 2nd from 4 - 6 p.m., with the ribbon cutting around 5:15 p.m.

During the event, Tim Ellis will speak on the history of the Adams Houses, memorabilia from United Way throughout the years will be displayed, light refreshments will be available, and the ceremony will conclude with the sealing of a time capsule. Drop in for a visit and to check out our new space! 

United Way's new breakfast speaker series launched with a candid exploration of homelessness.
First Wake Up! with United Way Examined Homelessness

The first Wake Up! with United Way breakfast launched earlier this month with a candid exploration of homelessness in Bloomington.  

Panelists Rev. Forrest Gilmore of Shalom Community Center, Emily Pike of New Hope for Families, and Jonathan Jones, Crawford home resident and Shalom employee who has been personally impacted by homelessness, fielded questions from attendees and shared their experience about everything from affordable housing to public policy to panhandling. Efrat Feferman, United Way of Monroe County Executive Director, moderated the discussion. 

“The homelessness plight that I’ve seen change here over the past eleven years is communication,” Jones explained. “Before, people who were experiencing homelessness and poverty weren’t being heard, even though they were the ones going through it. Thus far, it’s progressed a lot and now there are so many avenues which weren’t here a decade ago, which is a godsend.” 

The Federally Employed Women, Hoosier Hills, and Crane Credit Union are stepping up for new moms in our community
Federally Employed Women Build Baby Baskets for New Moms

Thanks to the Federally Employed Women’s Hoosier Hills partnership with Crane Credit Union to assemble 30 baby baskets for first time mothers served through the IU Health Nurse Family Partnership. Crane Credit Union generously sponsored the gift baskets and provided little piggy banks for each basket.  

These six-month baskets will help families prepare for their babies’ mobility. During a home visit, nurses will talk with moms about safety in the home and deliver these six-month baskets that are full of babyproofing items, infant essentials -- like a soft toy, a book, baby wipes and shampoo – as well as a couple items to help pamper mom. As always, the baskets also include a hand-written card from the volunteers, encouraging moms, and letting them know they are not in this alone. 

Pictured left to right: Catherine Blankensop, Sarah Verschoor, Jacob deCastro, and Jack Dvorak
Press Club Internship Benefits Students and Community

Each year, United Way partners with the Bloomington Press Club to place two IU Media School interns with a pair of United Way member agencies. In the span of ten years, through generous funding from Press Club dues and monies raised from events, 29 student experiences have been sponsored. Most recently, the Press Club placed Catherine Blankensop with Shalom Community Center and Emma Cesar with LifeDesigns. Next year Sarah Verschoor will be found at Middle Way House and Jacob deCastro at Big Brothers Big Sisters.  

“We think that it’s been a wonderful two-way street,” explains Jack Dvorak, Internship Committee Chair of the Bloomington Press Club.

MyFreeTaxes.com is Still Here for You

Even though Tax Day has come and gone, MyFreeTaxes.com can still help you file your taxes for free. If you missed the April 15th deadline, it’s not too late to file and MyFreeTaxes.com can help! Visit MyFreeTaxes.com now and finish your taxes with the help of a step-by-step process, available at any time of day from the comfort of your own home! 

Upcoming Events

Bloomington Street Fair 
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 12 PM – 4 PM 
Corner of Lincoln & Kirkwood Ave 

Find Your Cause Nonprofit Fair  
Tuesday, April 30, 5 PM – 7 PM 
The Mill 

United Way Open House / Ribbon Cutting  
Thursday, May 2,  4 PM – 6 PM 
431 S College Ave 

Financial Coaching Kick-Off 
Tuesday, May 7, 6 PM – 7 PM 
431 S College Ave 

It Takes a Village Family Resource Fair 
Wednesday May 8, 12 PM – 4 PM 
The Warehouse 

Wake Up! with United Way: Evicted! Poverty, Policy, and the Law 
Thursday, May 9, 7:45 AM – 9 AM 
The Mill 

Stamp Out Hunger 
Saturday, May 11 
Your Mailbox 

Diaper Dash hosted by the IU Health Nurse Family Partnership 
Saturday, May 11,  9:30 AM 
Emmanuel Baptist Church
United Way of Monroe County is a nonprofit organization that improves people's lives by addressing critical needs today and working to reduce those needs tomorrow. Through our Community Action Fund, Priority Funds, and grant initiatives, we work with 25 member agencies and other community partners to focus resources on the building blocks for a better life: education, earnings, and the essentials.
United Way of Monroe County
431 S College Ave
Bloomington, IN 47403
812-334-8370 // info@monroeunitedway.org