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United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties Celebrates 80th Anniversary

Founded as the Kankakee County Community War Chest in 1941, United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties remains faithful to serving the community’s most pressing needs.

KANKAKEE – For 80 years, United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties has mobilized caring people to invest in communities where resources are needed most. In celebration of this significant milestone, United Way invites the public to participate in an audio tour through United Way’s eight decades of local history, now available at: myunitedway.org/80th-anniversarycelebration.

Kankakee County’s United Way chapter was officially born on December 17, 1941, in a meeting room at the old Hotel Kankakee – ten days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. First named the Kankakee County Community War Chest, the earliest fundraising efforts supported local agencies along with war relief charities. While fundraising methods and services have evolved over the years, the goal of United Way has remained steadfast: to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community to advance the common good.

“Throughout United Way’s 80-year local history, thousands of community members have dedicated their time, talent, and resources to improving the lives of families, neighbors, and friends. United Way’s work would not be possible without the donors, volunteers, and advocates that generously contribute to our annual campaign each year,” said Kerstin Rust, Executive Director at United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties. “Thank you for being with us, staying with us, and working with us to make our community a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

United Way relies on community support to help individuals and families in Kankakee and Iroquois Counties to achieve their full potential. If you are moved to help continue this legacy for another 80 years and beyond, give UNITED at: myunitedway.org/80th-anniversary-celebration

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