The Heart of Illinois United Way is a community-wide effort for all of us who call central Illinois home. By uniting businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and donors, we are able to achieve results that cannot be achieved by a single company or donor. Together, we are able to secure resources that improve our quality of life and shape a future where children are learning everyday, where seniors don’t have to worry when they’ll have their next meal, where families receive the support they need and, most importantly, a future that is brighter for generations to come.
More than 1,100 people in central Illinois use United Way-funded programs every day—programs that are reviewed annually by an allocation panel of more than 80 volunteers from diverse segments of the community. Because of the United Way’s network of community volunteers, they are able to identify critical community needs and work as a catalyst to solve them.
Through the Heart of Illinois United Way, we take the strength of our community into our own hands as we work together to provide a comprehensive network of essential health and human services through the 112 funded programs provided by 45 agencies throughout Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford counties. United Way agencies are among the most effective nonprofit service providers in central Illinois because they are held to the highest accountability standards while they focus their efforts on nurturing our youth, strengthening our families, building self-reliance and promoting healthy lives. In 2006, the Heart of Illinois United Way campaign raised $8.525 million, a campaign that ensured that these agencies, many with small staffs and limited resources, could continue to have a positive impact in our community.
If the annual United Way campaign did not exist, many services we depend on every day to keep our community up and running would disappear. Our youth would have lower test scores and higher delinquency rates. Homebound seniors would not have home-delivered meals, forcing more seniors to leave their homes.
Disaster victims would be without food and shelter. The homeless would not have overnight shelters, resulting in higher law enforcement costs. Individuals without health insurance would not have access to local healthcare clinics, resulting in increased emergency room costs and higher insurance rates. Persons with disabilities would not have jobs that help them live independently, resulting in increased need for state institutions and higher Social Security costs.
Making a difference is all about people like you and me—people who care about our community. The Heart of Illinois United Way demonstrates heartfelt leadership, unity and enthusiasm to affect positive community change. From the futures we shape, to the community we share, to the lives we change…that’s what matters. Just as we count on teamwork in our daily jobs, the United Way counts on your partnership to make a difference here at home. IBI