Thank you to all the women who came out tonight for our first quarter meeting of 2020! We heard from three great causes including HOPE of East Central Illinois (, Mid-Illinois Big Brothers and Big Sisters (, and LincolnlandHospice of Sarah Bush Lincoln (  

100 women member Tammy Zuber introduced Kelly Hardy, executive director of HOPE.  HOPE provides various services to victims of domestic violence.  Those services include 24-hour hotline, housing, legal advocacy, children’s programs, counseling, emergency transportation, community education, referrals and volunteer programs.  All services are free.  HOPE serves seven counties.  The transitional housing program has eight homes that victims can live in rent free for up to two years.  One of HOPE’s needs is software that will allow them to apply for additional HUD funding to support more transitional housing.  The cost of the software is $12,000. This software will provide the means to accumulate the data required by HUD while protecting the victims identity.

Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) was our second presentation, brought to us by member Kelsey Swing. BBBS matches children and teens facing adversity with one-to-one mentors creating relationships that develop into life-changing friendships.  Since 1975, BBBS has made a difference in over 5,000 children and teens.  BBBS has 115-130 children and teens per year in its programs.  There is a waiting list of 107 children and teens.  It takes $2,400 per year to maintain one match.  BBBS serves eleven counties in central Illinois.

Our final presentation tonight was chosen by member Kathy Black. Nancy Sehy of LincolnlandHospice spoke of the impact their organization makes terminally ill patients and their families.  Medicaid, Medicare and most insurance plans cover the medical care provided to terminally ill patients in the twenty county area served by Lincolnland Hospice.  Donations are sought to support the Grant-A-Wish program, counseling and bereavement programs, and other support to maintain the dignity of the dying person.  

The votes were close, each cause provides so much for our community.  Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters won the votes tonight. If we did not receive your funds tonight, you will be receiving an email with instructions on where to send your check.

If you are interested in helping the other programs, you can reach out to:

• HOPE of ECI:  Kelly Hardy at (217) 348-5931 or [email protected] ; P.O. Box 732, Charleston, IL

• Lincolnland Hospice:  Nancy Sehy at (800) 454-4055; 1004 Health Center Dr, Ste 202, Mattoon, IL  

Come join us for our next meeting April 23rd at Charleston Library.  Our presenters for the next meeting will be chosen by these members/groups:

• Nancy Dole and Diane ZuHone

• Terry Righter and Mary Danley

• Carol Adams