One hundred years ago, on December 4, 1919, a group of volunteers gathered at Memorial Hall to hear about a "modern" way to raise charitable dollars. The idea of a charitable federation originated in Denver in 1887 and was brought to Rockford by a representative from Milwaukee. Existing as only one of 25 in the country, the federation would centralize fundraising and distribute funds directly to the charities serving our community. The volunteers, many of them prominent community leaders like Spafford, Ingersoll, Smith, Wantz, and Connelly, embraced the idea, formed a board to get it started, and, that night, the predecessor to United Way of Rock River Valley was born.

100 years and $230,000,000 later, we want to remember that day by reconvening in the room — exactly one century later.

United Way 100 Year Celebration Open House
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Memorial Hall — where it all began
211 N. Main Street, Rockford

2:30 pm - 5:30 pm  |  Open House
Cake, punch, and coffee will be served.

3:00 pm  |  City Proclamation
Mayor Tom McNamara will present United Way with a special proclamation.


 Barnes and Noble Book Fair


Books Change Lives!

Support United Way literacy programs by joining us for our Barnes & Noble Book Fair. In-store book donations and a percentage of book sales go to help build up school readiness and early-grade reading for young kids in our community. Be sure to mention United Way at checkout. Last year, United Way distributed over 35,000 books to young children ages birth to third grade. #BNBOOKFAIRS

Saturday, December 8, 2018
Barnes and Noble Cherryvale Mall location (7200 Harrison Avenue, Rockford, Ill.)


Can't attend our book fair in person?

Visit to support us online from 12/08/18 - 12/13/18. Enter the book fair code 12472650 at checkout.

United Way Campaign Kickoff



Community Campaign Kickoff 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Rockford Bank & Trust Pavilion at Aldeen Golf Club — 1902 Reid Farm Road, Rockford

Help us Move the Middle Now as we kick off our 100th annual Community Campaign

That's right, 100 years. For 100 years, United Way has been here. Making a difference. Connecting the dots. Finding solutions that focus on helping youth succeed, and empowering adults to lead strong and healthy lives. And it's because of you — your commitment to giving to United Way makes our work possible. Your generosity, combined with the overall larger network of people working together, creates a better life for our youth and a strong community for everyone.

Networking: 11:00 a.m.

Luncheon/Program: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Enjoy a lunch that will transport you back to your school cafeteria and learn how United Way is making an impact on our community.

Cost: $40 per person | $400 for table of 10

Top Box Foods

 Top Box Foods

Through a partnership with Chicago-based nonprofit Top Box Foods, bundled boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables, and frozen meats, poultry, and fish are available for purchase at up to 40 percent less than retail. The monthly locations are based on food desert data, which are areas with dimished access to quality and affordable food.   


Preview Menu >


Saturday, December 1, 2018 (always the first Saturday of each month)

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. - GPS Faith Community Church | 10714 N. 2nd Street, Machesney Park, Ill. (directions)

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Zion Lutheran Church | 925 5th Avenue, Rockford, Ill. (directions)

1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Rockford Public Library, Rockton Centre Branch | 3112 Rockton Avenue, Rockford, Ill. (directions)


How it Works

1. Top Box Foods will set up at designated locations with boxes of fresh produce and frozen meats.

2. Shoppers may look over the selection of food and purchase boxes on the spot: first come, first serve.

3. Cash, credit card and Link Cards are accepted.


Thanks to our sponsor:

Northwest Bank

 The Top Box Foods program in the Rockford-area is part of United Way's Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, which dramatically improves the quality of life for children and families in the region's most challenged neighborhoods. Through neighborhood engagement discussions, United Way discovered how constraints related to limited income, time and distance make it difficult for residents to access healthier foods.


Leadership Donor Luncheon at Klehm

Leadership Donor Lunch at Klehm Arboretum

In appreciation of your leadership level giving, we invite you to join us for a casual lunch at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Learn how your contributions are leading the way as together we support our community for the next 100 years. 



Thursday, June 27, 2019
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
2715 S. Main Street | Rockford, Ill.


Register Now 

Plated Lunch and United Way Update

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


Please RSVP online by June 21 or contact Nancy Jenkins at 815-986-4810 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MoveTheMiddleNow dolly-parton United Way 211 Make a difference in our community: Volunteer FamilyWize Drug Lookup Tool
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For thousands of area youth, middle school is the defining moment in their lives. See how United Way and its partners are creating a movement to help middle school students achieve success. Visit

Parents or guardians of children ages birth to five who are residents of Meridian CUSD #223 can register for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library today!

Don't wait another day. Call 2-1-1 to connect with information on counseling programs and support groups to help you reestablish safety and independence.

This free, easy-to-use tool connects your time and talent with volunteer opportunities from local nonprofit organizations. Search by interests and time availability.

Secure the lowest price on your prescription with this free drug lookup tool from our partners at FamilyWize.

We fight for the health, education and financial stability of every family in every neighborhood