Prairieland United Way over halfway to reaching 2017 campaign goal

By Blake Schnitker on December 13 at 11:20am

With the holiday season in full effect, the Prairieland United Way’s continues to collect donations for its “Neighbor’s United” campaign.

Backed by Chairpersons Mary Ferguson and Bev Coats, the 2017 “Neighbors United” campaign is well on its way to reaching its goal of raising $520,000 for various charitable programs throughout west central Illinois.

Prairieland United Way Executive Director Karen Walker provides an update on where things currently stand with this year’s fundraising efforts.

“We are actually sitting at about 70 percent to our goal. We are pretty much about where we would be at this same time last year if I look back at a comparison, which is something we do often as a board. We’re looking back at where we stand, where we see the campaign going from here. We’ve hit the halfway mark, so to be at 70 percent, we’re very excited about that, but we still have a way’s to go,” says Walker.

Walker says that the local United Way often sees increased participation around the holidays.

“People in this Jacksonville community and the surrounding counties are very charitable and generous in their giving, so we thank them for that. This time of year, there’s a lot of need, so people definitely get in the giving spirit. We certainly hope that people will remember the United Way for all that we do with that one gift that you can make, it can help over 60,000 people that are in the four-county area that need the services of the over 40 programs that we fund,” says Walker.

Walker talks about Prairieland United Way’s message, and the various programs that the organization helps fund.

“It’s a good way to not just help one person but help many, so that’s the message that we try to get across to people, that the United Way is just that, it’s a united way of giving. It unites the agencies within our area to help the community as a whole. So you’re helping those at the homeless shelter, you’re helping those at the soup kitchen, maybe there’s runaway youth or truancy cases that need to be helped. There’s just so many people that are in need this time of year, and all year long, but definitely I think people realize that at this time of year, and that giving spirit definitely shines through,” Walker says.

The 2017 “Neighbor’s United” campaign will actually continue to run into the new year until February.