The Heart of Illinois United Way is making the final push for individuals to give to its annual campaign. Campaign Chairs, Doug and Vicky Stewart, say more than nine million dollars has been raised so far. That’s about one-point-four million dollars away from the final amount raised last year.
The money collected funds more than 85 local programs that address critical health and human care needs in the six-county area. Vicky Stewart says the need for donations is important as the need for services increases throughout the community.
"The poverty rate in Peoria County alone has increased from 13.9% in 2010 to 20.3% in 2012. The number of people receiving food benefits increased from 11.6% to 12.3% in that same time period."
Stewart says financial donations are also needed as the United Way’s new 2-1-1 program helps connect more people to services. The number refers callers to various service programs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More than 300 local companies and organizations are participating in workplace campaigns. Individuals can contribute at www.hoiunitedway.org. Campaign results will be announced at the end of January.