September 1, 2016

Steve O'Keefe
College Relations

The Poshard Foundation, which is housed on the campus of John A. Logan College, received a substantial gift at a press conference Wednesday from labor union insurance and financial service company Ullico that will help assist with renovation to the United Methodist Children’s Home in Mt. Vernon. Ullico Inc. CEO Ed Smith was on hand to deliver the first of four $25,000 checks to renovate the aging facility. Founded in 1927, Ullico provides insurance and financial solutions for labor unions, union employers, union benefit funds, and union members.

According to United Methodist Children’s Home President and CEO John Shadowens, improvements are desperately needed to the aging facility that was built in the 1950s and serves over 1,000 children annually in 10 different programs.

“We are meeting code barely, and we know we need to upgrade to provide a nicer home for these children,” said Shadowens.

In April, Glenn and Jo Poshard toured the home after the Poshard Foundation had donated new mattresses to the facility. Shortly after the visit, Poshard reached out to Smith and other labor leaders about renovating that facility.

“I knew that I just needed to show these leaders what needed to be done and that it would get done,” he said. “The charitable causes union labor helps with in this area, no one knows about it. But it amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars in special projects as well as meeting everyday needs of our people,” he said.

In addition to the donation by Ullico, local electricians, plumbers, painters, and laborers will donate their time to complete the project. Smith is proud of what local labor groups are able to do to help lower the cost of the renovations.

“The labor movement of southern Illinois is a special treasure unto itself, and too many times we don’t appreciate the hardworking men and women who every day go to work and keep our region going,” Smith said.