In January of 2017, Crisis Nursery received a $200,000 donation from the Liautaud Family Foundation, led by Jimmy John Liautaud, Jimmy John’s owner, founder, & chairman, and his wife, Leslie. One year later, the Liautauds announced they would be matching all money pledged to Crisis Nursery, up to $100,000, through June 2018. As of June 1, Crisis Nursery raised $100,450, earning the maximum matching amount from the Liautaud Family Foundation.
The Liautauds learned of the Nursery’s need to complete its $1.9 million capital campaign from a supporter of the Nursery. The Liautaud Family Foundation’s latest six-figure gift, along with their original gift of $200,000 and an anonymous donor’s gift of $100,000, completes the first phase of the campaign.
When asked how the original donation came about, Jimmy John Liautaud said, “Leslie and I have three beautiful children. Family is everything to us, so when I got the call about the Crisis Nursery’s financial shortfall, Leslie and I said, ‘We’re in!’ Boom, the deal was done! Life can get tough for folks and sometimes people need some help. The Crisis Nursery provides that help to keep families together.” The Liautauds also hope to inspire the community with their most recent donation, "It gives us great joy to help out and give back to our local charities," Jimmy John said. "I hope the matching program inspires others to help as it has us."
Angie Hatfield Marker, former Director of Development and Communications said, “We are so very grateful to Jimmy John, Leslie and the Liautaud family and to this anonymous donor for their generous donations. Their commitment to our community continues to be incredible and their faith in our organization’s mission to prevent child abuse and neglect in Champaign County is so appreciated by all of us at the Nursery, most especially those children and families using our programs and services.”
Crisis Nursery’s Executive Director, Stephanie Record said, “The Liautauds and the anonymous donor stepped in at a critical time to help us complete the payment for the construction of our newly expanded building. Their gift, along with other generous community donations, allows us to now direct our fundraising efforts toward hiring and training more staff to serve more children and families in our community. Our goal for the capital campaign and building expansion was to serve more children and reduce the incidence of turning families away. Increasing and sustaining the quality of care we provide the community continues to be our goal moving forward.”
With the help of the Liautauds’ donations, we were able to finish the production of the playground for the children and begin other expansion projects. The Liautauds’ original gift was the first-ever donation made by the Liautaud Family Foundation, which was established in December of 2016. Jimmy John founded Jimmy John’s in 1983, and had been active in philanthropy prior to starting the foundation with his family. The Liautauds have supported other local projects such as the Champaign Parks Foundation and the Kickapoo Rail Trail.