Answer the Call with USO of Illinois

USO of Illinois is thrilled to announce the formal launch of Answer the Call, a $3 million fundraising campaign to strengthen USO of Illinois, modernize our Centers, invest in new programs and provide outstanding services and facilities to military service members in Illinois. This is a special philanthropic effort that is above and beyond annual fundraising activities.

For 77 years, USO has relied on the generosity of the American people to ensure we can offer support to the military and their families. We couldn’t have gotten here without the generosity of partners and friends and the vision from long-standing board members. USO of Illinois Board of Directors Vice Chair, Joan Stade, has served for more than 22 years on the Board and recently made a 6-figure leadership gift to the Answer the Call Campaign in honor of our military.

When asked about the motivation behind her generosity, Joan said, “I grew up in a Navy family, my father was an Admiral and my brother was a Captain. At a young age, I supported the military at numerous events with my parents. I baked a lot of cookies for Midshipmen, Sailors, and Marines! I fully understand what the USO does every day, year round at the many centers in the U.S. and around the world for our deserving military and their families. I feel very strongly that everyone should be supportive of fellow Americans who are serving or have served our Nation. Whether a Board Member contributes financially or a volunteer who generously donates their time, both show tremendous appreciation and love. I would say that volunteering is the heart of the USO everywhere.”

Joan’s decades of service are near impossible to capture in a few words. Supporting military in varied ways throughout her life, Joan has also advocated for military getting more time off over the holidays, encouraged the installment of USO Centers and other support systems in areas with large populations of military, and found unique ways to show her support throughout her time with USO of Illinois.

Her passion for the organization and our service members has also encouraged additional generations to contribute to USO of Illinois. Since 2017, both of Joan’s daughters, Sharon Stade and Karen Krill, have made 5-figure donations to the Answer the Call Campaign.

USO of Illinois thanks Joan for her years of service and for leading the way for Board Members and volunteers in their service to the military. Click here to learn more about USO of Illinois’ Answer the Call Campaign.

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