Eloise Erickson, a relationship manager from SPEC’s Indianapolis Territory, was working at the VITA site sponsored by United Way of St. Joseph County when she witnessed the remarkable gesture of goodwill.

When VITA volunteer Kathi Hale walked into the site, few people could have predicted what was in the box she was carrying. It was a brand new laptop that she gave to the United Way as a gift.
"I had points on my bank card and didn't have anything I really needed,” said Kathi, a VITA volunteer for four years. “I knew how much the VITA program could use a new laptop."

The United Way of St. Joseph’s County VITA site is a member of the Prosperity Building Campaign Tax Team, and is a three-year VITA Grant recipient. So far this year, their volunteers have filed more than 2,300 tax returns for taxpayers in the South Bend area.

"This is absolutely amazing! I was just working on an old laptop, which is almost fried," said Dawn Chapla, the Director of Labor and Financial Stability for the United Way of St. Joseph County. "Kathi volunteers every Saturday wherever I need her."

For Eloise, the SPEC relationship manager who works with the VITA program in South Bend, the act of generosity was unexpected, but not completely surprising.

“The dedication of our VITA and AARP volunteers across the State of Indiana is amazing, and is represented by Kathi,” said Eloise. “It was definitely the highlight of my trip, if not the entire filing season.”



SOUTH BEND, Ind. – United Way of St. Joseph County Board of Directors announced on May 22nd that they have accepted the resignation of President/CEO Kay Ball. Alfred Guillaume, Jr. was named interim President/CEO.

“I am very proud of the significant accomplishments we have made together during my six year tenure at United Way. With the ultimate commitment to move the United Way mission forward—and now, to transform our mission to focus more keenly on the issue of poverty in our community—our team of board members, community partners, volunteers and staff have developed significant synergy to that end. We have addressed many exceptional challenges of these times with great vision and wisdom. As a result, United Way is strongly positioned to continue its leadership role as convener and facilitator of community partnerships well into the future,” said Ball.

Chris Strafford, United Way board president, added, “Kay led our organization with professional competence and personal confidence that strengthened us through many significant internal and external transitions. During her tenure, United Way has raised $21,056,000 from individuals, corporations and foundations to invest in Education, Income/Financial Stability and Health programs and services. The Board is grateful for Kay’s hard work, dedication and inspiring leadership. We will miss her but wish her well in her new position as the Executive Director for the Elkhart General Hospital Foundation.”

United Way board member Alfred Guillaume, Jr. has been appointed by the United Way Board to assume the role of Interim President/CEO on June 7. Dr. Guillaume served as a United Way Board Member for nearly nine years, as well as a member of its Community Investment Committee. Recently retired, he served fourteen years as executive vice president for academic affairs at Indiana University South Bend. Additionally, he has held teaching and senior level academic leadership positions at Xavier University in New Orleans, Saint Louis University and Humboldt State University. Alfred is active in civic engagement and is an advisor to and board member of numerous organizations, including the Foundation of the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, the South Bend Symphony, WVPE, Greening the Bend, IUSB’s Center for A Sustainable Future, the African American Community Fund, and Habitat for Humanity. He is a charter member and one of the founding directors of the 100 Black Men of Greater South Bend. Dr. Guillaume previously served on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, the La Salle Council of Boy Scouts of America, and is a former president of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association.

“United Way is moving to a model of Collective Impact with a focus on reducing poverty in our community. We are honored that Dr. Guillaume has agreed to serve during this time. His commitment to our community through non-profit volunteer leadership and his military service to his country are humbling; his professional credentials are inspiring. The Board appreciates his loyal, compassionate dedication to the United Way mission,” said Strafford.

United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization that advances the common good. Currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary year, United Way’s key priorities of Education, Income and Health are demonstrated through partnerships with 57 local agency programs and facilitation of diverse United Way services.





You have the opportunity to help shape a child’s future for the better by empowering him or her to achieve. And the best part is, it’s actually a lot of fun.
It’s pretty simple.  A few hours a month sharing activities you enjoy with a child in need.  By building a trusting friendship you can make a powerful impact in his/her life and your own.

Call us at 232-9958 or visit our website at to learn how you can become a Big Brother or Sister mentor.





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(April 2013 to March 2014)

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