Our Impact

Emergency Food and Shelter Program


Winnebago County has been chosen to receive $193,059 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. This amount reflects a 21% increase ($33,051) from Phase 33 which awarded $160,008. The Local Board invites eligible organizations to apply for these funds, using the application below. A Local Board, consisting of representatives from local nonprofit human service agencies, governmental entities, and the community at large will determine how the funds are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in Winnebago County. The Local Board is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

  1. be private voluntary non-profits or units of government;
  2. be eligible to receive Federal funds;
  3. have an accounting system;
  4. have a nondiscrimination policy in line with all applicable Civil Rights legislation;
  5. have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs;
  6. if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board.

Qualifying service providers in Winnebago County are urged to apply. The spending period for Phase 34 ends January 31, 2018.

To apply, download the application packet on this page and respond to the prompts in the file or using a separate Word file. Completed applications must be mailed or turned in by person, and must be received by 4:30pm on July 11. No late or incomplete applications will be considered. Submit your application to:

United Way of Rock River Valley
Attn: Paul Nolley
612 N Main Street, Suite 300
Rockford, IL 61103

For any questions, contact Paul Nolley at 815-986-4814 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Phase 34 Application - PDF | WORD

My Free Taxes


MyFreeTaxes is a free, safe and easy way for anyone earning $64,000 or less to file state and federal taxes online. Optimized for mobile devices, MyFreeTaxes can save taxpayers an average of $200 in fees. The program is sponsored by United Way, with support from H&R Block®.


File Taxes for Free


 Call 1-855-MY-TX-HELP (1-855-698-9435) to reach a tax expert.


Program Reach

Strong Neighborhoods House Survey



Please take a moment to share your thoughts about the Strong Neighborhoods House. Your input helps us identify key programming to offer in the house that will create a strong neighborhood.





Become an I READ Volunteer Reader

Support our local schools by helping young readers achieve reading proficiency. Each week, I READ volunteers work together with teachers and mentor up to two Kindergarten students for 20 minutes each during the school day.


Why United Way I READ?

Until the end of third grade, most students are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, students begin reading to learn. Without reading proficiency, a child's participation in the learning process is impaired.


What are the requirements?

It's simple. You just need a passion to share a love of reading. Training and materials are provided, and all volunteers go through a background check with each school. Volunteers are encouraged to remain with their students through third grade.


> Pledge now to become a United Way I READ volunteer

Tiny Hands Big Hearts

 Tiny Hands Big Hearts

Success By 6® Tiny Hands, Big Hearts program targets the development of healthy adult-child relationships, and social and emotional skills for preschool-aged children. Through one-on-one playtime with children, volunteers encourage conversation and introduce new vocabulary words.


Making the Case

Greater exposure to language can shape a child's capacity to learn.

The number of words spoken and the amount of time spent in active engagement and communication is a predictor of academic accomplishments. This mentoring program promotes positive one-on-one relationships between adults and preschoolers, and develops essential skills in children for long term success.

While engaged in conversation and free play with a Tiny Hands, Big Hearts volunteer, children learn to:

  • accept redirection from adults;
  • regulate emotions;
  • understand a larger vocabulary.


Program Locations

City of Rockford Head Start / Rockford School District #205: Dennis Early Education Center (pilot site)


You Can Make a Difference

Share your time with a child and watch their communication skills and love of learning grow.

Volunteers are matched with a child by the school and encouraged to spend a minimum of 30 minutes one day a week. One-on-one playtime is held in the child's classroom during the school year and training is provided. All volunteers complete an application and go through a background check conducted by the school.


Take Action

Join us now as a Tiny Hands, Big Hearts volunteer > www.wevolunteer.org