Our Impact

Advancing the common good is less about helping one person at a time and more about changing systems to help all of us. We are all connected and interdependent. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are financially stable, when people are healthy. Our goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of these problems. It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future. link test


The United Way of Central Illinois has a variety of services to assist members of our community.

Each year, United Way of Central Illinois invests millions of dollars in local services working to meet the needs of our community. Our focus is on protecting services vital to the immediate Basic Needs of the most vulnerable members of our community; while making long-term investments in Education, Financial Stability and Health, because these are the building blocks for a good quality of life.

Below you will find current investments made through United Way. Additional programs and funding can be found at the links below.

Effective July 1, 2015, applications for community funds are no longer restricted to member agencies. Programs interested in applying for Community Funds should call the Director of Community Impact at 217-726-7000.

Give the Gift of Reading - Dolly Parton's Imagination Library.

A small investment in our children today will pay a lifetime of dividends!

Since launching Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, United Way of Central Illinois has provided more than 169,000 books to help children across Sangamon and Menard Counties to share the joy of reading at home!

We understand, a small investment will have a tremendous impact on families and futures, and with your gift, you will be helping parents and children begin a lifelong journey of learning together.

How your gift helps:

Your gift of reading supports Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides free books to preschool children in Sangamon and Menard Counties. One $25 gift provides a full year of books (12 total) for one child.

The program is open to all children, under the age of 5, who live in Sangamon and Menard Counties, and it is completely free to families — they just have to sign up!

Your gift of reading at work:

  • A $26 charitable gift will provide a full year’s worth of monthly books to a child in Sangamon and Menard Counties.
  • A $130 charitable gift will allow a child to access the program for the entire five years!
  • A $260 charitable gift will provide a full year’s worth of books to 10 children in Sangamon and Menard Counties.

Register your young child (ages 0-5) today!

Contact the Director of Community Impact to Learn More

2-1-1 Get Connected. Get Answers.

211 – Connecting People Who Are Struggling With The Resources They Need.

Each year, United Way of Central Illinois and 211 receive phone calls from thousands of people in our community in need of help. The United Way Resource Center features both community and nonprofit resources designed to help those in need and the agencies which serve them.

The resource center provides topical, relevant information on a variety of health and human services issues, from health related fact sheets to educational resources for parents.

Check back often as we build the online resource center and as always, call 211, 24 hours a day, for immediate assistance from a trained professional.

United Way’s 211 is an easy-to-remember phone number that connects individuals with resources in our community. 211 is your one-stop connection to the local services you need including utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention, and much more. 211 is always ready to assist you in finding the help you need.

Simply dial 211 or call 1-888-865-9903.

You can also access Illinois 211’s growing online database of services HERE.

With approximately 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States plus scores of government agencies, finding help can be confusing and intimidating. People who need help often do not know where to begin. 211 call centers are staffed by trained specialists who quickly assess the callers’ needs and refer them to the help they seek. It’s simple to remember, accessible to everyone, toll-free, available 24/7, with multilingual capabilities.

211 in Sangamon County is funded by United Way of Central Illinois. By bringing this service to the community, especially at a time when more individuals and families need health and human service support, United Way is fulfilling its mission of mobilizing resources to meet community needs.

Dial 211 or call 1-888-865-9903.

Dial 211 from anywhere in Sangamon or Menard Counties and you will reach a highly-trained call specialist who will assess your needs and provide referrals to the resources in your community. Every day, call specialists help callers find assistance for complex issues such as financial problems, substance abuse and suicide prevention and for simpler issues such as finding volunteer opportunities and donation options. 211 is available 24 hours a day every day of the year. Multilingual assistance and TDD access is also available.

211 enables people to get help or give help.

211 offers information on a broad range of services, including rent assistance, food banks, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, elderly care, financial literacy, and job training programs. Specialists at 211 centers also facilitate thousands of volunteer hours.

211 benefits the nation.

The human services system in many of our cities and states is often confusing, costly and time consuming for consumers seeking to give or get help. It need not be this way. A 211 system produces cost savings for taxpayers, employers and government; and 211 in any community saves time and enhances the human services experience for those needing assistance.

Supporting 211 benefits your community.

211 is locally designed by community stakeholders, who are aware of their local and state needs and resources. 211 is part of the community fabric and serves the local community. Businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government officials support 211 as a way to improve the lives of the residents in their communities. 211 covers over 86% of the nation. 35 states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have 100% coverage. The two states with less than 20% coverage are Illinois and Arkansas.

211 enhances public safety and crisis recovery efforts.

The nation is prepared to make considerable investments in public safety and disaster relief infrastructure and capacity in response to events of natural or human agency. From hurricanes and floods to bio-terrorism, 211 call centers that already exist in communities, operating 24/7, are the logical platform for building emergency response communication capacity.

In the wake of the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, hundreds of thousands of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama residents called 211 with a multitude of needs, including shelter, transportation, medical, food and water, construction materials, mental health, and questions about the availability of and application process for federal, state, and nonprofit assistance. 9-1-1 referred non-emergency calls to 211, freeing up 9-1-1 operators for life-and-death situations.

SingleCare Prescription Drug Card

SingleCare sample card


United Way partners with SingleCare, formerly known as Familywize, to provide a free prescription drug discount card to the community. Individuals can save up to 30% on their prescriptions and since launching the program more than 10,000 residents, saving more than $1 million, in our region have signed up for the card. To obtain a card, visit www.singlecare.com.

We deliver these savings by distributing free prescription drug discount cards. These pharmacy discount cards are provided free of charge to those who use the card. All funding for the SingleCare prescription card program is provided by part of the dispensing fee that is included in the cost of medicines when a SingleCare card is used to save you money, and by in-kind donations and reduced costs from the program sponsors.

How the SingleCare Prescription Discount Card Works

It’s easy to use a SingleCare Card. There are no forms to fill out, waiting period or registration. The card is really just like a reusable prescription coupon on all FDA approved medicines. Anyone in your family, your work, your church or your neighborhood can use it. Immediately. You can even use it if you have health insurance, both during deductible periods and for anything your insurance does not pay for.

Click here to download & print your card.

MyFreeTaxes - Income Tax Assistance. Easy. Free. Tax help you can trust.

No one loves filing taxes, right?

But this year, it’s easier than ever for simple returns if you use MyFreeTaxes.com

MyFreeTaxes® is a long-standing partnership of United Way and H&R Block, which provides the software.

Anyone of any income level can file simple returns for free. That means simple federal and up to three state tax returns – without spending any money in tax preparation fees.

So far, MyFreeTaxes has helped 1.2 million people save $250 million in tax filing fees and brought more than $1.7 billion back in returns.

The software links you to a secure H&R Block website. It walks you through the filing process and screens for common tax deductions and credits you may be eligible for, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Child Tax Credit. That’s part of our effort to make sure you get back every penny possible. There is 24/7 chat help, and a helpline with *real people* (IRS certified experts) who are available every day, 10 am-10 pm EST at 1-866- 698-9435.

Other simple tax situations covered in MyFreeTaxes include: W-2 income; limited interest and dividend income reported on a 1099-INT or 1099-DIV; student education expenses, credits or student loan interest; unemployment income; claiming the standard deduction; EITC; child tax credits; child and dependent care expenses.

Unfortunately, MyFreeTaxes no longer provides a free return to filers who are self-employed. Self-employed filers will need to report all of their income and expenses on a Schedule C form, which is not included in the
MyFreeTaxes software. If you are self-employed, and wish to use MyFreeTaxes to file your taxes, you will only be charged $24.99 for a federal return and $18.50 for each state return (a 50% discount).

In any case, MyFreeTaxes is fast. It’s easy. You can do it from anywhere: your phone, tablet or laptop. You can start on one device, and finish on another. You can upload your W-2 form, letting MyFreeTaxes fill in all the

To learn more, visit www.myfreetaxes.com.