WomenConnected, the women’s giving circle within the Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation, recently awarded $52,000 in grants to programs and projects within the Health System, bringing the group’s total giving to just over $500,000 in 13 years.
WomenConnected is comprised of 80 women from Coles and surrounding counties, as well as the Georgia and Texas who, through their membership contributions, help fund and direct the expansion of services provided by Sarah Bush Lincoln.
The group most recently awarded 16 grants to programs including the Regional Cancer Center, METS, SBL Dental Program, Behavioral Health, programs to help indigent patients with medical expenses and more.
“Together, the women in this group are making a significant impact on peoples’ lives every day,” explained Amy Card, director, Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Foundation and WomenConnected member. “Individually these women make a membership contribution. Contributions are then pooled together into a fund that provides grants resulting in significant support to our programs and services at Sarah Bush Lincoln. And the best thing is, members have a voice on which programs they want to support. I think each member takes pride in the fact that it’s rewarding to be a part of a larger effort that is truly impacting the lives of people across our service area. And for our members to have given over a half million dollars in just 13 years, impacting hundreds, if not thousands of people, is remarkable.”
One program funded repeatedly by the group includes the Sarah Bush Lincoln Dental Program, which provides preventive and restorative dental care to children who have no other means to obtain this care. “We have children as old as high school age who have never been to a dentist. Some of them come from families who have no transportation to get to a dentist or they either have no insurance or don’t qualify for a medical card, but have no extra funds to pay for anything over and above basic living expenses,” explained Laura Bollan, director, SBL Healthy Communities. “WomenConnected provides funds for our Dental Program staff to help these children receive that care, including funds to fill their often painful cavities and other decay.”
Members of WomenConnected range in age and occupation. “We have employees of area businesses, board members, retirees, volunteers, moms, daughters and grandmas in this group and they all have at least one thing in common -- they generously give because they want to give, they want to help others and they ask for nothing in return,” explained Card. “I’m lucky to know each of these ladies and encourage others to join this rewarding group.”
Barbara Hoppin, charter member of WomenConnected who remains a member today, said the group is near and dear to her heart. “I think I can speak on behalf of all our members when I say it’s a wonderful feeling knowing that together, we have and are playing a role in helping people in area communities – from our neighbors to people we don’t even know -- improve their health. That’s why we’re doing this.”
WomenConnected members include: Carol Adams, Dr. Fatima Alao, Dr. Sheryl Artmann, Cathy Babbs, Ann Beck , Kristen Bliss, Sally Bock, Laura Bollan, Mary Bovard, Judy Brown, Amy Card, Beth Catt, Becky Crites, Lori Cudone, Sabra Culp, Jeanne Cunningham, Jeanne Dau, Dixie Dickens, Sheila Dively, Cynthia Edwards, Samantha Eggleston, Lana Esker, Sharon Fox, Carol Jo Fritts, Laura Glenn, Barb Hall, Wendy Hastings, Susie Hay, Dr. Katie Hecksel, Patty Hedges, Lisa Hernandez, Jodi Hildebrandt, Leslie Hill, Star Hill, Barbara Hoppin, Maggie Huffman, Julie Hunt, Shirley Hunt, Roxanne Lilly, Karen Lindley, Kim Lockart, Joyce Madigan, Nancy Marlow, Michelle Mathews, Tracey McCord, Tess Melvin, Janet Meyer, Melanie Mills, Patty Montgomery, Laurie Mooney, Carol Myerscough, Nancy Nguyen, Cheryl Noll, Diana Oakley, Marcia Parker, Linda Perry, Patty Peterson, Jerri Pine , Bernie Pluard Theresa Quinn, Maggie Ratliff, Carol Ray, Debbie Sandercock, Nancy Schilling, Karla Schubert, Diane Senteney, Karen Smith, Ruth Smith, Debbie Sparks, Erica Stollard, Colleen Stoner, Jenny Swearingen, Nancy Swits, Leslie Taggart, Edie Terwilliger, Kim Uphoff, Mary Lou Wild, Lauri DeRuiter Willems, Mary Williams, and Pat Williamson
For more information about WomenConnected, contact Card at 217 258-2511 or [email protected].