Who We Are


Val Deweese, Fundraising Coordinator


Casey Burgholzer, Secretary

I’ve lived in Effingham my whole life and went through the Unit 40 school system graduating from EHS in 2008. My husband Andy and I have two children, Camdyn and Judah. I work for the Illinois Department of Employment Security. I have a passion for human service and appreciate the mission of Blessings in a Backpack. I love that our efforts stay local and am thankful for the opportunity to support our community.


Michael Janis, Treasurer

I am a life long resident of Effingham. My wife Ashley and I have two children, Amelia and Lincoln. I am the Executive Director of Outpatient and Ancillary Services at HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. I love the vision, mission and purpose of our local blessings in a backpack chapter and am honored to help serve our community!


Amanda Stroud, Board Member

I was born and raised in Newton, Illinois and moved to Effingham in 2010.  My husband John and I enjoy raising our three children, Jakob, Nicklaus, and Avery in the small town community.  I am a Family Nurse Practitioner who recently moved my career back to the area so that I had more time to give back to the community.  I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve on the board of Blessing in a Backpack


Brian Collins, Board Member

My family and I just recently moved to Effingham.  We love this community and I have worked here for the last couple of years for the Illinois Department of Employment Security. I am a U.S. Navy veteran who always looks for a call to service.  I feel privileged to be in a position to be able to help others.


Rebecca Meyer, School Liaison


Natalie Bohnhoff, Food & Distribution Coordinator


Lindsay Niemerg, Marketing Director


Ryan Fearday, Board Member


Sandra Faber, Volunteer Coordinator


Kristin Workman, Board Member


Alecia Booher, Board Member