Early childhood education. Preschool. Child care quality. You may have noticed these issues are getting additional attention in several media outlets. Support for early childhood education – which includes high quality child care and basic health and safety standards for child care providers who receive government vouchers for their care – continues to be a top priority for United Way.
Here are some of the highlights of the recent media coverage of early childhood issues:
- The House Republican Caucus released its agenda for the 2013 session of the General Assembly which included a focus on preschool.
- Read the Indianapolis Star article here.
- WTHR covered the release of this agenda as well as some additional information on the current state of early childhood education in Indiana. United Way's director of education, Ted Maple, was interviewed for this piece.
- On October 10, the Committee on Child Care - an interim committee of the General Assembly - toured different child care facilities and reported back during their meeting on what they saw at those facilities. WRTV covered the meeting and tours.
- The Indianapolis Star has published several recent articles on the state of early education in our state and editorials in support of early childhood - including additional common sense requirements for Indiana child cares. Below are just a few of those articles and editorials:
- "Our Children, Our City: In Indiana, we fail our children in thinking early learning is optional, not essential" - an article by Scott Elliott. Ted Maple was interviewed for this article.
- "Little Miracles Day care had drawn scrutiny" - an article by John Tuohy and Diana Penner.
- Editorials that urge legislators to take action and enact basic standards for Indiana child cares - especially those that receive government dollars for their care.
The Committee on Child Care will meet for the final time this year on October 29 at 1 p.m. in Room 431 of the Statehouse. If you can't attend but are interested, you can watch live here. I'll post another update once the committee issues its final report and recommendations.
--Laura Smoots, director, public policy, United Way of Central Indiana
Do you support policies that would provide additional public transit options? If so, why? Would more public transit save you time and stress on your daily commute? Do you see it as an environmental issue? These are both important reasons why our community needs more public transit options, but for United Way of Central Indiana, it comes down to being a crucial human services issue, which is why United Way's board of directors recently adopted a resolution supporting legislation that authorizes voter referendums to fund the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of mass transit.
Access to reliable transportation is a basic requirement for individuals and families to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Past United Way community assessments have found that lack of access to transportation is a significant barrier for individuals to access jobs, health care and education.
An op-ed by United Way of Central Indiana's President and CEO, Ellen K. Annala, was published in the Indianapolis Business Journal this week that illustrates how important transit is to our community. The op-ed tells the story of Ralph - someone who's been helped by HVAF of Indiana, a United Way agency, and who relies on public transportation. To quote the op-ed:
"You will hear proponents of mass transit talk about it as an economic development issue and a regional competitiveness issue. You will hear them talk about it as a quality of life issue with environmental implications. All those arguments are true. But I will forever picture it as a Ralph issue -- a story of how integral transit is to helping people achieve self-sufficiency, maintain it and pass it on to their children and their children's children."
That pretty much says it all. If you or your organization want to express this same support for additional transit options, visit our website for links to sign the Central Indiana Regional Transit Authority's (CIRTA's) petition or adopt a resolution.
--Laura Smoots, Public Policy Director, United Way of Central Indiana
Hancock Regional Hospital – led by the great employee campaign coordinators Cheri Wenger and Marsha Meckel – held a United Way soap box derby last week to raise money and awareness for their campaign. Many of their "cars" were themed for United Way agencies, which were picked by the employee team.
At left: winner of the Most Creative Award – the Sheltering Wings car! Note the working headlights, lugnuts and angel wings. (The car driver is pictured with her "pit crew.")
Below: all of the employees with their cars after the race.
Also incredible: Hancock Regional Hospital's campaign took a $4,000 jump today due to this event! See more photos from the event here.
Selected as one of Indiana’s "Best Places to Work" for four straight years, Hancock Regional Hospital is a great community supporter that promotes giving, advocating and volunteering every day. Thank you for LIVING UNITED.
--Paula Jarrett, Hancock County Area Director, United Way of Central Indiana
When life or work brings challenges both large and small, all of us at Lilly know how important it is to have the support of good colleagues and friends to see us through.
For Steve and Becky Schenck, such assistance became incredibly important one morning in 2006, when Becky woke up unable to speak. Diagnosed with stage four brain cancer, Becky has been living with her illness ever since, beating the odds many times over with the benefit of excellent medical treatment and supportive family and friends. Grateful for — and inspired by — this outstanding care, Steve has dedicated himself to making a difference to others as co-chair of United Way of Central Indiana's 2012 annual campaign.
In sharing their story, Steve and Becky have a simple goal: to remind us that anyone can experience an unexpected challenge, and that no one should have to face such battles alone. By contributing to United Way, you can provide a lifeline of hope and help for those who might otherwise have nowhere else to turn.
Be sure to watch Steve and Becky's story, and thank you for LIVING UNITED.
John C. Lechleiter, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Eli Lilly and Company
Borshoff has a "make it better" attitude in all that we do. We tighten news release language, tweak design elements and refine event details.
We approach our annual United Way campaign the same way.
Being a Company that Cares for all 18 years is a huge honor and accomplishment. It’s proof that we work hard and do our best; that we approach the effort every year with the same enthusiasm as we do our work.
When Holly Havener and I began leading Borshoff's annual campaign six years ago, our average donation per employee was $382. I was blown away. I led the employee campaign for my previous employer and the average was less than $10 an employee, up $3 per person from the year before.
Leading the annual campaign at Borshoff is a privilege, and it's challenging to increase our donations and engage everyone each year.
Fortunately, we’ve been motivated though the years by the personal stories delivered by Torchbearers. We’ve learned about veterans’ affairs, homelessness in Indy and educational issues faced by children. Those stories teach us all to be better citizens, and remind us we all can make an impact.
All benchmarks for the Company that Cares award support our commitment to the community. You don’t have to give a large donation; you can volunteer for Day of Caring instead. Or, if you are maxed out on time, you can give gleefully to one of the United Way of Central Indiana’s member organizations. Regardless of your age or job duties, everyone can contribute something.
Our principals set a solid example for everyone, both through their individual gifts and their corporate gift. They encourage activities during the campaign.
Every year we adapt and experiment with ways to draw in even more colleagues. Several years ago, we began holding a bake sale during the days before Thanksgiving. Those who enjoy baking contribute pies, cobblers, cakes and cookies; and those who dislike baking purchase these homemade items to "pass off as their own" over the holiday. That sale consistently brings in several hundred dollars.
This year is our inaugural chili cook-off fundraiser for United Way. Again, our hope is to promote inclusion and remind employees the campaign is underway. It’s also an excuse to get together and encourage some friendly competition.
We are also linking our annual holiday greetings to our United Way charity of choice. More details are to come, but I see towers of canned goods and toilet paper lining our hallways in the near future.
One of my favorite days of working at Borshoff was the day in 2005 when we almost didn’t reach the Company that Cares metrics. A fellow employee started a "What are we, a company that doesn’t care?" chain of emails, and we reached our goal by the end of the day.
I am proud to work at Borshoff, a Company that Cares about its employees and our community. I’m even prouder to co-lead the annual United Way campaign, and I look forward to achieving our goal and earning our 19th Company that Cares medallion.
--Erin Pipkin, United Way annual campaign co-chair for Borshoff
Ben Tunny of Tunny Racing won the World Figure 8® Championship on Saturday, September 8, by beating drivers from all across the United States at the Indianapolis Speedrome. The United Auto Workers is a major sponsor of the car and of United Way, and uses the platform to display their charities. Ben is a great advocate of the Kids Voice of Indiana, a United Way agency, and proudly displays this emblem on his car.
--Danny Ernstes, Chairperson, Greater Marion County UAW CAP Council
Each month, we'll post updates about United Way and our agencies. There's (nearly) always something going on!
United Way news
- Michael Bachman is a new early childhood project manager in the education priority.
- Shannon Cochran, manager, new business development, has been promoted to senior manager, business development.
- Bob Cross, research and planning director, is retiring.
- Angela Dabney has been selected by IBJ for the 2012 Women of Influence distinction to be presented November 1.
- Tiffany Dow, manager, volunteer coordination & placement, will be leaving United Way to become senior program director for YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.
- Kelsey Dumoulin, associate, donor relations, has been promoted to manager, donor relations.
- Ashley Furois is a new donor relations associate.
- Katie Hackney, manager, donor retention, has been promoted to senior manager, donor retention.
- Diamond Herrera is a temporary data entry clerk in accounting through year end.
- Boyd Jackson, Caring Club coordinator, is leaving United Way to join All Sport Couture LLC.
- Ashley Klein, logistics coordinator, is leaving to pursue her real estate career full time.
- Kristian Little is a new outreach manager for early childhood.
- Dr. Ted Maple is one of 100 finalists for Indy’s 2012 Best and Brightest! He will be honored by Junior Achievement October 11.
- Derek Morris, associate, donor relations, has been promoted to manager, donor relations
- Sheila Pegues is a new data entry clerk in a temporary accounting position.
- Jessica Rodgers has been promoted to digital marketing manager.
- Jessie Smith has been promoted to marketing associate.
- Karen Burkley resigned as executive director at WellSpring. The agency’s board chair, Patti Ostler, is handling operations in the interim.
- Mark Monson is Fairbanks' new president & CEO.
- Kim Walton, is the new interim executive director for Lutheran Child & Family Services. The agency is developing a partnership with Community Health Network Behavioral Health Services, providing administrative leadership and bringing quality mental health services to residential programs.
- Training Inc. is moving October 1 to 1125 Brookside Ave, Suite 210, Indianapolis, 46202. Their phone and fax numbers are unchanged.