July United Way News
United Way Live United
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Heidi-Schulz-Live-United Meet Heidi Schulz:  
Live United Spotlight

For Heidi Schulz, Living United is deeply-rooted. Growing up in Bloomington, her parents taught her the importance of giving back to the community. As a youth, she regularly volunteered in the cancer unit of the hospital, lent a hand to neighbors, and always gave some of her babysitting money to those in need. Now, with one-year-old twin boys of her own, she hopes to raise her family with these same values. Heidi and her husband Matt are truly examples of what it means to Live United.


When she returned to Bloomington after living in Georgia, Heidi heard of United Way through the IU workplace campaign and knew right away she wanted to be more involved in making our community a better place. She first began volunteering with the IU fundraising efforts and has since become a United Way board member, served as the chair of the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 community campaigns, and is our board president-elect.


Heidi has always enjoyed working with and mentoring children. In Georgia, she was a Marine Educator at the University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium, teaching young visitors about the diversity and importance of marine life. 


And for the past several years, Heidi and her husband have volunteered as "Bigs" with Big Brothers Big Sisters to empower local youth. Heidi, Matt, and their little guys enjoy spending time outdoors and at the many events available at IU concerts, theater, and athletics. Read More >> 


Monroe County Named Indiana College Success County 
Monroe County has been named as an Indiana College Success County for our community-wide efforts to increase the number of residents with education and training beyond high school. Members from the Monroe County High School Plus Coalition steering committee, including Barry Lessow and Ashley Hall, accepted the award from Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers during a special ceremony held at the Indiana Statehouse on May 8.

The Indiana College Success County award was presented to the 26 counties that established a coalition of community organizations to promote graduation and improve college and career success. To earn the Indiana College Success County award, coalitions created a data-driven strategic plan to increase the percentage of the community's recent high school graduates who enter a post-secondary institution.

The High School Plus Coalition helps all Monroe County youth to grow, graduate, and pursue their goals. The Coalition brings together over 40 organizations, including schools, businesses, the justice system, and local nonprofits. It is convened by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce and United Way.


Accomplishments during the past two years include financial aid workshops, college campus visits, professional career internships and job shadowing, College Goal Sunday, in-school Graduation Coaches, tutoring and homework help, formalized mentorships, and much more. 






Enter Today! 'This is How I Live United' Photo Contest 

How do you you Live United? Reading to kids? Volunteering at a food pantry? Helping your elderly neighbor unpack her groceries? Taking a meal to a friend during times of need?


Now through July 29th, send us a picture featuring you... your family... your friends... your coworkers... your group... showing the LIVE UNITED spirit while wearing your LIVE UNITED t-shirt.


Don't have your LIVE UNITED shirt yet? Simply come by our office or contact United Way at (812) 334-8370 to get your free shirt.


Send your photo to us through the online entry form and it may:

  • Be featured in the Live United Community Gallery on display at the Bloomington City Hall Atrium during the month of September 2013
  • Be chosen for use by United Way of Monroe County in our campaign materials and other publications!


So wear your Live United shirt, grab your camera, and show us how you Live United! 


Thanks to our lead prize sponsors: Bloomingfoods Market & Deli, Bloomington Bagel Company, Lennie's, and Scholar's Inn Bakehouse. And our supporting sponsors: Bub's Burgers, Bruster's, Bucceto's, The Chocolate Moose, and Kroger. 


Free Community Tax Service Helps a Record Number of People    


United Way of Monroe County and the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana helped area residents file a record number of tax returns this spring. The Free Community Tax Service brought together community partners, including both Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and AARP Tax Counseling for the Elderly (AARP/TCE) programs. Nearly 200 volunteers assisted Monroe and Owen county residents file 2,901 federal returns and over 2,000 state returns. 


That helps residents increase their financial stability two ways. This year, the Free Community Tax Service saved low- and moderate-income residents up to $850,000 in tax preparation fees. Additionally, the IRS-certified volunteers helped eligible individuals and families claim valuable credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provided an income boost. This valuable tax credit resulted in a refund of up to $5,891 for those who qualify.

Barry Lessow, United Way Executive Director, said, "The Free Community Tax Service provided a measurable impact on the lives of struggling individuals and families in our area. Volunteers and partner organizations came together and, according to national research, kept over 3,000 people, including 1,800 children, out of poverty. About 25% of local families reported they were using their savings to pay for food and clothing. More than 25% were reducing their debt by paying bills, and one in four were getting further on the road to financial stability by putting their refund in savings. When the Free Community Tax Service helps families make ends meet, that also reduces demand on local agencies already overburdened providing essential services."


Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers' Food Drive a Success!    


What weighs 87,483 pounds and can help feed hungry Hoosiers? Canned veggies and fruits, rice, pasta, cereal, crackers, juice, and other nutritious food collected by the NALC Branch 828 letter carriers during the 2013 Stamp Out Hunger food drive! Representing a nearly 6% increase over the amount collected last year, event organizers, including United Way, send a heartfelt thanks to all who donated.     


Stamp Out Hunger is the largest, single-day food drive in the nation. The local area served by NALC Branch 828 stretches from Martinsville to Paoli and from Nashville to Linton.    


According to Dory Watkins, NALC Branch 828 Food Drive Coordinator, "Each spring, the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 828 letter carriers are devoted to helping end hunger in our communities through the Stamp Out Hunger national food drive. The bags of food we collect at each mailbox will help nourish needy neighbors and our team is honored to serve our community in this expanded way. And on the second Saturday in May, our regional letter carriers did a great job of showing that we delivered more than mail -- we also delivered over 87,000 pounds of foods to help hungry residents."  


Read more >> 

HighlightsCampaign Highlights  


Workplaces throughout Monroe & Owen Counties are choosing to make an impact by hosting their own United Way fundraising campaigns. Thanks to the workplaces below for helping ensure that everyone in our community has the building blocks for a better life.


Indiana University Health - Bloomington 


Employees of Indiana University Health - Bloomington showed the strength it takes to make a difference in our community by giving over $41,000 to improve the lives of area residents.





Along with a corporate gift, generous Herald-Times staffers reported over $10,000 in campaign donations.Thank you! 





UPS Improves people's lives    

UPS employees rolled through another strong campaign, delivering over $8,000 to support community priorities. 






Vectren heated up the campaign and doubled their donations while increasing participation by over 60%. Along with a corporate gift, Vectren workers contributed over $8,000 to help with the community campaign. 




Click here for a full list of workplaces that hold United Way fundraising campaigns.

Upcoming Events

Now thru July 29th
Monroe, Owen, and Greene counties

July 27-August 3 

Monroe County Fair 

Fairgrounds on W. Airport Rd.


August 20 

eBus sponsored by Fifth Third Bank 

Broadview Adult Education Center


August 21

eBus sponsored by Fifth Third Bank 

Bloomington Housing Authority


August 22

Philanthropy/IN Sight

Hosted by Nonprofit Central at the Monroe County Public Library










Reduce Summer Learning Loss 

Did you know that school-age children can lose an average of two months of grade-level equivalency in math and reading during summer vacation if they lack access to learning opportunities? A decrease in skills over the summer means more time playing catch-up in the fall classroom. Here are some great ways to keep kids having fun and engaged during the not-so-lazy days of summer!


1. Take Advantage of Free Library Resources: Not only can you check out books for free at local libraries (Monroe, Owen, Greene), but during the summer many libraries also offer free summer programs for children.

2. Keep a Journal: Have your child journal about the day's or week's activities. Writing often keeps their minds fresh. Click here for fun, printable journal covers.

3. Go to Free, Local Events: Check out museums, music, and parks in the area for fun, educational, summer field trip ideas. IU's Jordan Hall greenhouse, the animal shelter, and Leonard Springs Nature Preserve are all ideas for fun and free "field trips." There are great parks in Monroe, Greene, and Owen counties. 

4. Incorporate Math into Everyday Activities: Whether it's measuring for baking in the kitchen or recording the temperatures outside, there are many ways to incorporate math daily. Click here for ways to incorporate math into cooking.

5. READ! READ! READ! Find out what interests your child and provide them with an endless supply of books on those topics! Reading is the single best way to keep their minds fresh during the summer. Check out this reading list.

Visit the  National Summer Learning Association for a complete list of tips.


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441 S. College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47403 | 812.334.8370 | UWMC logo
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 24 member agencies and other community partners to focus resources on the building blocks for a better life: education, earnings, and the essentials.