The United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) and United Way Worldwide have announced a $5 million gift from Eli Lilly and Company chairman, president, and CEO John Lechleiter and his wife, Sarah, to support early childhood education and the expansion of the Center for Working Families network in central Indiana.
The couple's gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. Of the $10 million in total pledged by the Lechleiters and the Lilly Foundation, $8 million will be directed to UWCI to support an expansion of its early education centers in central Indiana. The funds also will help provide scholarships to children from low-income families so they can access center programs and will support an expansion of UWCI's Center for Working Families network, which currently has ten sites dedicated to helping low-income families achieve financial stability through a range of services. With the Lechleiters' support, UWCI will accelerate its plan to open an additional eight sites in the central Indiana over the next five years. The remaining $2 million will support the work of United Way Worldwide.
In addition to his leadership role at Eli Lilly, John Lechleiter chairs United Way Worldwide's board of directors. In 2003, Sarah Lechleiter became a founding member of UWCI's women's leadership giving group, Women United, and remains active as a leader of UWCI's Women of Tocqueville group.
"We are honored to provide this commitment to United Way," said the Lechleiters in a statement. "We believe that United Way is uniquely positioned to address pressing community needs in central Indiana and in communities around the globe. With our commitment, we hope to encourage others to contribute to this vitally important organization. We're also deeply grateful to the Lilly Foundation, which matches Lilly employee and retiree donations to United Way dollar-for-dollar."