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United Way Announces $8.8M Fundraising Update Amid State Woes, Expected Local Layoffs

Alex Rusciano / Peoria Public Radio

The Heart of Illinois United Way has raised $8.8 million so far for this year's campaign.  The money helps fund dozens of health and human service programs in the region.  Campaign Co-chair Tana Utley says the state budget impasse is creating new financial concerns for some groups:

"Many are relying on Heart Of Illinois funding even more and they're starting to run some budget deficits, so it’s really a waiting game and quite a bit of stress in the agencies."

However, Utley says fundraising from large companies like Caterpillar and ADM is up compared to last year.  That's despite Caterpillar’s recent announcement of thousands of job cuts in the coming years.  Last year's Heart of Illinois United Way campaign raised nearly $11.4 million.  This year's fundraising efforts wrap-up in early February.

United Way president Michael Stephan Says it’s a challenging time for many agencies dependent on public and private funds:

" A lot of our partner agencies are burning through their reserves, their lines of credit, in hopes of when they do sign a budget, that it's retroactive in terms of finding for the past several months, but that’s not even for sure."

The fundraising push for this year ends in early February.