December 2018
Wishing You Bright Holidays!

The holiday season for many of us is a time of joy, a time to enjoy meals, share gifts, and relax with friends and family. For some of our neighbors, however, the holidays can mean a time of isolation or anxiety as financial stresses are highlighted.

Every year, our member agencies see these struggles and make an extra effort to brighten the holidays for their clients and we're asking you to join them and us by making a contribution to support vulnerable people in our community. Let's take this time not just to bring cheer to our friends and family members but to also contribute to the quality of our whole community.

From all of us here at United Way, have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

Meet Julie Brockman,
 
“We just have to ask ourselves ‘who do we want to help’ and get started!” says Julie Brockman, a relationship banker at Old National and a member of the 2018-2019 United Way Campaign Cabinet.

Brockman is new to United Way, having gotten involved at the suggestion of her employer, but she has hit the ground running. She not only “spreads the word” to all her personal friends and coworkers, but also took the initiative to organize a food drive for the holiday season at local branches of Old National Bank.

Financial Coaching Participants Save $20,245 and Pay Off $9,306 in Debt!

Did you know that over 50% of Hoosiers don’t have emergency savings to buffer against unexpected financial shocks? Only two of every five households report creating a budget and sticking to it. These alarming statistics led United Way and the Financial Stability Alliance, with support from German American, to launch an innovative, free financial coaching program in January 2018.

Individuals were paired with professional Financial Coaches from Apprisen—a national nonprofit organization with 60 years’ experience supporting people in achieving financial stability. Participants received a year of free, personalized financial coaching.

The results of the pilot program are impressive—on average, participants saved $1,265 and paid off $581 in debt over the course of the year. The group of 16 set and met more than 42 goals, cumulatively built their saving by $20,245, and paid off debt totaling $9,306!
Due to the success of the program and the overwhelming positive reviews, United Way will continue the program and is currently accepting applicants for the next financial coaching cohort until January 20, 2019.

Campaign Updates

“United We Fight. United We Win.” Campaign Currently at $779,823

As of December 14, 2018, generous United Way donors have so far contributed $779,823 to our annual Campaign! It takes the help of many workplace campaigns to make this fundraising effort a success. Some of these fantastic campaigns include:

  • Great West Casualty, which is working to ensure a bright future for our community with a donation of $5,325 from employees.
  • BKD employees, who are getting results where it counts, with $5,825 donated for our friends and neighbors in need.
  • Community-minded IU Credit Union employees, who invested $19,452, in addition to a corporate gift of $20,000, for a total of $39,553 in support of resources to meet the needs of community members. 

Making the Holidays Special

United Way member agencies around Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties are setting out to make sure everyone has a great holiday season. One such agency is Area 10 Agency on Aging. Area 10 is coordinating with several churches and businesses to pull together gift bags for homebound older adults and residents in their affordable housing. They have been collecting handmade holiday cards from various volunteers to include along with a gift bag for each individual whom they deliver groceries to through their Mobile Food Pantry. 

Another member agency making the holidays special is PALS. This year was the 1st annual Christmas with the Ponies event, where activities included photos with a PALS horse, pony rides, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies, arts and crafts, and a Christmas movie. Not only was every PALS client invited but so was the entire community. Congratulations on a successful start to what will hopefully be a great opportunity for the community to learn about PALS while celebrating the season!

Vectren Day of Action

“We are so grateful to Vectren for their help around our building. Their generosity eliminated these expensive projects from our budget, which means we can spend more resources on programs and activities for Monroe County girls,” Amy Stark, Girls Inc. Executive Director reflected on the recent Vectren Day of Action.

On November 30, a team of 11 Vectren employees took a day to give back to the community through United Way. They traveled to three different locations two LifeDesigns group homes and Girls Inc. to fill potholes, clear bush, remove dead trees, work on general landscaping, and repair fences to ensure safe and welcoming environments for people served by these agencies.

Tracy Smith, operations supervisor over service, led the Day of Action event. “Vectren is fitted around community and they really foster community development and volunteerism,” she explained. “We’re super excited to have this opportunity. Any chance we have to just get out and do these kind of things is great.”

Nominate Volunteers for the Be More Awards

The Be More Awards is our community's way of honoring and applauding the outstanding, but often unrecognized efforts of our community volunteers.

Ten awards will be presented during the community celebration honoring all of the nominees in late March. 

A $500 check will be presented to each of the recipient's volunteer organizations in honor of their outstanding service. Nomination deadline is February 1, 2019.

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
441 S College Ave
Bloomington, IN 47403
812-334-8370 // info@monroeunitedway.org
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