United Way - computer

United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois counties is offering an online audio tour.

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-anniversary-celebration.

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,” Kerstin Rust, executive director at United Way of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, said in a news release. “United Way’s work would not be possible without the donors, volunteers and advocates that generously contribute to our annual campaign each year.”

“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.”