Westfield Insurance Foundation’s Legacy of Caring Fund Benefits United Way of St. Joseph County’s Kindergarten Readiness Camps Partnerships

South Bend, IN, June 22, 2016 -- United Way of St. Joseph County has received a grant from Westfield Insurance Foundation thanks to the help of 1st Source Insurance.  The grant is part of the new Westfield Legacy of Caring program in which Westfield independent insurance agencies across the country were invited to nominate a local nonprofit in the areas of disaster relief, insurance pathways, family stability or safety.

United Way is partnering with four public school districts in St. Joseph County to provide Kindergarten Readiness Camps in June and July of 2016, serving between 80 and 100 children in total.  The camps provide essential academic and social development skills so that the children are ready to learn on the first day of school.  School district partners include School City of Mishawaka (serves Mishawaka), the John Glenn School Corporation (serves Walkerton and North Liberty), the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation (serves Mishawaka, Granger, Wakarusa and Osceola) and the South Bend Community School Corporation (serves South Bend).

“Thanks to the generous donation from Westfield Insurance Foundation, we will be able to increase our efforts toward partnering with our school districts to offer kindergarten readiness camps throughout the county. We know that children with higher levels of school readiness at age five are generally more successful in grade school, are less likely to drop out of high school and earn more as adults,” said Matt Harrington, United Way of St. Joseph County’s President and CEO.

“We value our partnerships with our independent insurance agencies.  Giving back to our agents’ communities in support of these key areas is an extension of the fundamental role that insurance plays every day in stabilizing families, businesses and communities,” said Ed Largent, Westfield President, CEO, board chair and Westfield Insurance Foundation chairman.

“1st Source Insurance and its employees are proud members of the Michiana community.  Our collaboration with Westfield allows us to further our citizenship efforts and have impact in critically important initiatives,” said Chris Strafford, President of 1st Source Insurance.

United Way of St. Joseph County is one of 45 nonprofit agencies nationwide to receive over $400,000 in donations from the Westfield Legacy of Caring program.  Westfield is proud to work with their independent agents in distributing nearly $750,000 since the onset of the Legacy of Caring program last year.

1st Source Insurance is a leading provider of business and personal insurance in northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. 1st Source Insurance employs 53 people in ten offices, located in South Bend/Mishawaka, Goshen, Elkhart, LaPorte, Knox, Plymouth, Fort Wayne, Valparaiso and Merrillville.

Serving our community since 1914, United Way of St. Joseph County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is To Mobilize the Community to Collectively Reduce Poverty. The organization works in collaboration with community partners to invest resources, convene, organize and support critical work in St. Joseph County.

About Westfield Insurance Foundation
Westfield Insurance Foundation was established in 2005 as an independent private foundation endowed by Westfield Insurance. In keeping with the values of Westfield Insurance, the Foundation exists as a dedicated community and industry partner; concentrating resources to have an impact on safety, disaster relief and family stability. The Foundation donates $3 million annually to a variety of charities. 

About Westfield Insurance
Westfield Insurance is a part of Westfield Group, a customer-focused insurance and banking group of businesses headquartered in Westfield Center, Ohio, and in business for more than 168 years. Westfield Insurance provides commercial insurance in 21 states, personal insurance in 10 states and surety services to customers in 50 states. Westfield is one of the nation’s 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups, represented by a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agencies. Westfield Insurance was named as a Top Workplace in northeast Ohio in 2014, as a Top Workplace in central Ohio in 2015, and as one of the Top 10 Best Private Companies for Leaders by Chief Executive Magazine in 2016. Westfield Bank provides banking solutions for businesses and individuals, and Westfield Services provides service and training support for independent insurance agencies. Learn more about Westfield Group at and



People Gotta Eat” Coalition Educates Clients on How to Cook Pantry Items

 By Christine Karsten

South Bend, Ind. — Summer is probably one of the most critical times for food pantries. They see fewer donation drives and kids are out of school, meaning those that qualify for free and reduced lunch may need to find food elsewhere. That’s why 11 pantries in St. Joseph County, who work together thanks to a coalition called “People Gotta Eat,” are looking for donations.

“People Gotta Eat” started about six or seven years ago thanks to United Way of St. Joseph County.

“It was important for United Way to support our local food pantries and obviously people needing to eat is a basic life necessity and we recognize that there are always resources that are needed by our food pantries to support our folks,” says President and CEO of United Way of St. Joseph County Matt Harrington.

Each of the 11 food pantries in this coalition existed before it was established. Now, they work together.

“I didn’t have anything on this pallet, nothing on this pallet, nothing on this pallet, nothing on this pallet and nothing on that pallet,” explains Director of Programs at St. Vincent De Paul Society Dale Seely. “These were also pretty bare over here. So, one of the things our relationship with ‘People Gotta Eat’ has done for us is helps us to generate the funds we need in order to purchase food. When we don’t have those good food drives coming in we have to purchase food because I have to take care of the people who walk through the door.”

It also allows pantries to talk about what is working and what’s not and lets them know when pantries, like St. Vincent De Paul, need donations.

“We need things like mac and cheese, spaghetti sauce, pasta, boxed potatoes, breakfast cereal, a very important item,” explains Seely.

But, what they found out through these donations is that they come in contact with items their clients may not be able to recognize let alone cook. That is why they decided to try something new this year. They decided to work with Martin’s and have them take things from the pantry and make meals out those items.

“I need something that is not going to be real costly, I need something that is going to be relatively easy and I need something I can do quickly because a lot of people who are struggling don’t have a great deal of time to stand in a kitchen and do things,” adds Seely.

Martin’s was able to do that and provide menus.

“No one in St. Joseph County should be hungry because they couldn’t find a pantry that was able to help them,” says Seely.

There are 11 pantries total in the coalition. As of July first there will be 14. If you want to join or donate, click here.



SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Every year on April 28th, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember the thousands of workers killed and millions more who are injured or diseased because of their jobs.

This year, the Workers Memorial Service will be held Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 4-5 p.m. at Howard Park in South Bend and will remember the regional workers who lost their lives in 2015. The service will begin at the Senior Center and will include a walk to the Memorial Site. The event will be presented by the North Central IN AFL-CIO CLC, all affiliated unions and in partnership with United Way of St. Joseph County. Families of lost loved ones and the general public are encouraged to attend.

For more information on the event, contact Dawn Chapla from United Way of St. Joseph County at (574) 232-8201 ext. 228 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Public Invited to Learn About Benefits of Indiana’s New HIP Link Program

Mishawaka, IN – 1st Source Insurance, along with the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration and United Way of St. Joseph County invite area residents to attend an educational seminar and luncheon to learn more about HIP Link, Indiana’s health plan premium assistance program. The seminar is Wednesday, April 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Windsor Park Conference Center located at 4020 Edison Lakes Parkway in Mishawaka. Attendees must RSVP to 574.271.5200 by Monday, April 18th.

Attendees will learn about HIP Link’s benefits for both employees and employers from speakers Kayla Hsu, HIP Link Outreach Coordinator and Joe Moser, Medicaid Director. 

HIP Link is a federally funded $4,000 Personal Wellness and Responsibility (POWER) account that can be used to pay health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays while an employee is on the employer’s group health insurance plan. To qualify, you must be an Indiana resident between the ages of 19 and 64, meet income criteria and have access to your employer’s health insurance.

1st Source Corporation, parent company of 1st Source Bank, has assets of $5.2 billion and is the largest locally controlled financial institution headquartered in the northern Indiana-southwestern Michigan area. The Corporation includes 80 banking centers, 22 1st Source Bank Specialty Finance Group locations nationwide, eight Trust and Wealth Management locations and ten 1st Source Insurance offices. For more than 150 years, 1st Source has been committed to the success of the communities it serves.  For more information, visit 

UPDATE: See photos from the event here.