United Way Drive Brings In $3.5 Million | WGLT

United Way Drive Brings In $3.5 Million

Mar 10, 2016

McLean County United Way Co-chair Scott Preston, right, is shown with campaign co-chair Sonja Reece, left and CEO David Taylor, center, along with Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteers Tristan, second left and Mike, second right, during a kick-off event.
Credit United Way of McLean County

BLOOMINGTON-- The extended United Way of McLean County drive ended Thursday with a total of $3,533,444 raised for more than 60 social service and non-profit programs.

The campaign began in late August with a goal of investing 8 percent more over the 2014 effort,  in dollars and volunteer hours, in-kind donations, etc. The previous campaign finished more than a year ago, raising $4.2 million. The total dollar amount announced Thursday represents a 16 percent decrease.

In a statement, campaign co-chair Sonja Reece said social service agencies have endured "economic head-winds" over the past year.  "These tight times have reinforced the importance of local nonprofit organizations and United Way has done a great job encouraging collaboration among its partners to find solutions for the most pressing issues facing our community.”

“While we didn’t get to 8 percent to invest back in the community, more than 80 companies increased giving over the previous year, 14 companies held a campaign for the first time, and more than $20,000 was raised by new retiree donors,” says UWMC president and CEO, David Taylor.

Normal town councilman Scott Preston, campaign co-chair, said volunteerism increased during the recent campaign. “Many people gave through volunteerism through events, like last week’s Read Across McLean County where I was just one of more than 65 volunteers that read to 1,806 students in our elementary schools," said Preston.

UWMC awards funds through a competitive, outcome-based grant process focused on supporting vital programs in the areas of education, income, health, basic needs and community based support services. Last year, 63 programs managed by 31 local nonprofits received funding from UWMC.