Christmas in February
Christmas is a time for giving – especially to those in need – and the Chillicothe area has always been generous supporting the Community Needs Agency, as well as other local charities. Generosity is also an attribute describing Chillicothe Altrusa members throughout the year, but particularly at Christmastime when the Club selects a Central Illinois organization as its Christmas Charity.
In 2016 UnityPoint Health – Methodist Child Life Services was selected to receive the Club’s contribution. Child Life Services serves children from newborn through preteen years by providing specialists who work to reduce traumatic experiences during hospitalization, engaging children with games, arts, crafts, toys, music and movies. The equipment they were using, while providing distractions and activities, was outdated; so Altrusa decided to lend a helping hand. According to Altrusa co-chair Jane Funk, child life specialists had requested new equipment costing $755; Altrusa’s goal was to raise $1000. When donations from members were totaled, $1435 had been contributed. This allowed Child Life Services to purchase a MamaRoo Swing, Foldable Infant Swing, Foldable Highchair, Bumbo seat, two motorized cars, a Crib Mobile, Bouncy Seat, DVD player and a department-owned camera and printer. While many of these items replaced things well-used, several were new additions to the unit. According to Becca Martin, Certified Child Life Specialist at UnityPoint Health - Methodist, "pediatric patients and their families will benefit from the kindness of Altrusa each and every day!” Items were ordered in late December; delivery came mid-February.
Thanks Altrusans for everything you do to support Chillicothe and the surrounding area.
UnityPoint Health – Methodist Child Life Services staff (left to right) Ashley Hostman, Child Life graduate student; Jen Johnson, volunteer; Becca Martin, Certified Child Life Specialist; Christine Czapek, Certified Child Life Specialist; and Ashley Gordon, Child Life Specialist, are all smiles as they display items purchased with the money from Altrusa.
Altrusa International Foundation, Inc. Supports Fire Department
On December 20, 2016, Altrusa International of Chillicothe, Illinois, Inc. was honored to present Chillicothe Fire Chief Mike Denzer with a $1000 grant from the International Foundation. The volunteer Fire Department will apply this grant toward the purchase of a radio to be worn by a fireman, providing communication between firefighters. This is crucial to their safety and the safety of those they rescue, as well as the property they protect.
Altrusa Club President Pat Parr says that grants of $250 - $2000 are available through sponsoring Altrusa Clubs from the Altrusa International Foundation, Inc. to improve the economic well-being and quality of life through the Foundation’s commitment to community service and literacy.
Established as a charitable corporation in 1962, the Altrusa International Foundation is committed to the service goals and objectives of Altrusa International, Inc. Its sole purpose is to be an avenue through which Altrusans can assist Altrusa Clubs and other worthy organizations throughout the world to carry out their programs of community service and assistance to those in need.
Funding is provided by voluntary contributions from members, Altrusa Clubs and the general public.
Chillicothe Fire Chief Mike Denzer (center) shows the type of radio to be purchased to Altrusa Foundation members (l-r) Janet Gilomen, Char Williamson, Pat Parr and Peggy Pierson.
Make a Difference Day
Each year in late October, Americans participate in “Make a Difference Day,” one of the largest national community service days. For Altrusa International of Chillicothe, individuals and organizations who make a difference in children’s lives are honored. Last year’s Make a Difference Day project honored the Chillicothe Public Library District staff with cards, cookies and candy — saying thanks on behalf of all patrons in the Library District for their assistance to people of all ages. This year our club chose to honor the men and women of the Chillicothe Police Department with thank you cards and a lunch of pizza, pasta salad, chips, breadsticks, brownies, soda and water. They also recognized Dark, the four-legged member of the department, with a gift card. According to Literacy Committee co-chairs Mary Baker and Sharon Bates, “The police department is always making a difference in our community, keeping the children (and adults) safe. Their support never ends."
Literacy committee co-chair Sharon Bates (left) presents a gift card for K-9 Dark to officer Jack Nieukirk at the Chillicothe Police Department. Also pictured is literacy co-chair Mary Baker.
Let There Be Light
Community Needs Agency (CNA) Executive Director Theresa Meister (left) happily accepts hundreds of light bulbs from Altrusa International of Chillicothe members Donna Armstrong (center) and Jane Funk (right). Light bulbs are usually taken for granted; however, those with limited resources often defer that purchase in favor of more important items. With the return of standard time, Altrusa members felt it was important to “shed light” on many Chillicothe households. CNA will include the light bulbs in each Christmas basket this holiday season.
May 2015 newsletter