Welcome to the Community page! Here you can learn more about the community efforts, engage, and share you ideas for community discussions or for events and programs in the area.

Disguised Disaster

Wondering how teens might hide alcohol or drugs in their personal spaces?  Check out “Disguised Disaster” and learn more. “Disguised Disaster” was presented in person at the Effingham Public Library, December 2, 2019.  Sponsors for the project include: Heartland Human Services, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Effingham County Health Department and Effingham Public Library.
Special thanks to HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital for videotaping this presentation.

Childcare Crisis Panel Discussion

Thursday, December 12, 2019, Effingham Public Library hosted a panel discussion highlighting the fact that Effingham County lacks almost 1,000 spots for Child Care. Panelists for the discussion were: Dr. Colleen Bingham, Family Care Associates; Courtney Hatcher, Project Child; and Brittany Gipson, City Clerk and Economic Development Director for the Village of Dieterich.
Those interested in learning more are welcome to access our Facebook Live video here and handouts here.

Census 2020

It’s time for us all to be counted in the 2020 Census! Since 1790, our country has joined together once every 10 years to take count of every person living in the United States. So, what is the census, exactly, and why should you participate? Click here to learn more about the 2020 Census.

Human Trafficking Information Session

On November 7, an overflowing crowd attended an information session on human trafficking at the Thelma Keller Convention Center. This event was hosted by The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, and the Effingham County Medical Society and featured Trish McKnight, a survivor of this type of abuse. Her story began in the 1970s in a small town in southern Illinois when her stepfather began to sell her to support his alcohol habit. The biggest point that Trish made was that people knew that something was happening to her, but no one did anything to stop it. Through her work with her non-profit, Butterfly Dreams Alliance (https://butterflydreamsalliance.org/), she works to educate people that are in a position to stop this type of abuse as well as help survivors of trafficking heal and re-enter society. Through events like this, word is spreading that this type of abuse is happening in our community and that we are all in a position to do something about it. Another important take away for attendees was that trafficking doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who is being abused is moving around the state/country/world for this activity to occur–it is happening right in our community. This was a really important fact as we often associate this type of abuse with abuse that happens away from our town or is only here because of the interstate traffic. Trish’s story is important because it shows that movement isn’t the unifying factor; it’s that children and adults are being sold and abused. The evening ended with a discussion of what can be done and here again, the message was about saying it out loud if something doesn’t look or feel right with a situation. 

Common Ground 2019

Common Ground:  Community, Courts, Kids and Education brings together 350 community stakeholders from the fields of law enforcement, attorneys and judges, school administration and faculty, child advocacy organizations and others.  The event draws professionals from nine rural southeastern Illinois counties.  Attendees come together in Effingham, Illinois, to share resources, network and learn how they can better serve the children, families and communities they call home. Click here for more information and helpful resources.

Human Trafficking

We want our community to be aware that HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is collaborating with the Effingham Chamber of Commerce, Effingham City Police, Eden’s Glory and other concerned community members, to educate our community about Human Trafficking.  

Children are prime targets especially boys ages 7-9 and girls 11-13.  We should all be aware that traffickers often use the anonymity of the internet/social media to develop trust and a seemingly solid friendship, then arrange to meet and deceive a victim into trafficking.  Traffickers lure, trick, and sometimes fake intimate relationships with their victims. Social media is a great way to meet and connect with new people, however, it just needs to be used in a responsible manner.

Below is a list of social media apps that have been used for nefarious purposes.

If you want to learn more about Human Trafficking, make plans to attend the Human Trafficking Event – Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Keller Convention Center.  See details here.

Homelessness in Effingham – A Community Discussion

“Homelessness in Effingham – A Community Discussion” was held Monday, September 30 at 6 p.m. in the Workman Room of the Suzette Brumleve Memorial Effingham Public Library.  Amanda McKay, Library Director, moderated the panel discussion with local homelessness experts Tyrone Harvey with Family Life Center, Outreach Director Cindy Mayer with CEFS, Sister Carol Beckermann with Catholic Charities and Angela Reeter Area 5 Lead Homeless Liaison with Regional Office of Education #3. If you missed the discussion, be sure to check out our Homelessness in Effingham Notes or the Facebook Live stream here and here.

One Book One School

Thursday, April 4, 2019 the Effingham Public Library hosted the finale of One Book One School. One Book One School event was organized by Julie Flach, Tech Integration Specialist, Effingham High School. For this first year, participating students read One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. 25 students from St. Anthony and Effingham High Schools visited the library and filled out a variety of survey questions that helped gauge the teen experience for the Effingham community. Library staff used the responses from the seven survey questions to create a word cloud that captures the concerns many teens in the Effingham community experience.

Lunch and Learn

Thursday June 8, 2017 the Effingham Public Library hosted a “Lunch and Learn”, co-sponsored by the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce. This discussion covered the future of Effingham, and how to prepare ourselves. If you missed the meeting, be sure to check out our Lunch and Learn Notes.

Envisioning Effingham 2030

Tuesday October 3, The Effingham Public Library hosted its second discussion “Envisioning Effingham 2030”. If you missed the meeting, be sure to check out our Envisioning Effingham 2030 Notes. Also that night, local artists live painted their interpretations of the discussion.

Do you have an idea for an event in the community, or at the library, but don’t know how to start? Let us know, and we’ll point you in the right direction.