News

Support recovery and rebuilding in the Philippines

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To help those communities affected by the recent typhoon in the Philippines, United Way Worldwide has reactivated the United Way Worldwide Disaster Rebuilding Fund. The fund will be allocated to Philippine Business for Social Progress (United Way in the Philippines). Contributions to the United Way Worldwide Disaster Rebuilding Fund will support long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts.

Visit www.unitedway.org/philippines for more information.

United Way 2-1-1 Third Quarter Report now available for download

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(Rockford, Ill.– 11/11/13) The United Way 2-1-1 Quarterly Report for Third Quarter 2013 is now available to download. The quarterly report contains information for both Ogle and Winnebago counties during the period of July 2013 - September 2013.

Quick Stats:

  • 1,137 total calls received between July - September
  • 1,320 total service referrals between July - September
  • Information accounted for 10% of all service requests
  • 6 Domestic Violence and 6 Suicide calls were received

Download Report >

United Way 2-1-1, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, is an easy to remember three-digit telephone number that connects individuals in Winnebago and Ogle counties with important services and volunteer opportunities. Launched in August 2012, the 2-1-1 phone system offers free information and referrals on a broad range of services, including rent assistance, foods banks, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, elderly care, financial literacy, and job training programs. All calls are free and confidential and the 2-1-1 network supports multiple languages including Spanish and Manadarin Chinese. For emergency services, callers should call 911. 

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Holiday Book Drive supports students in schools throughout Rock River Valley community

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Sherry Zabikow, Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble, unveils the Holiday Book Drive displays set up near each register. (Photo: United Way of Rock River Valley)

(Rockford, Ill. - 11/05/2013) – Barnes & Noble and United Way of Rock River Valley are teaming up this holiday season for a drive to provide books to every student in schools throughout the Rock River Valley community. During the months of November and December, Barnes & Noble at Cherryvale Mall will ask customers to purchase a book for children birth to high school age. United Way will then distribute the books through its school readiness and early grade reading programs.

“We are asking our customers, corporate partners and booksellers to make a difference in the life of a child by giving the gift of literacy this holiday season,” says Sherry Zabikow, Community Relations Manager, Barnes & Noble. 

Every November, Barnes & Noble stores across the country collect books through its two-month holiday book drive, which benefits children in need. Each store location selects its own local recipient group. This year, Barnes & Noble at Cherryvale Mall chose United Way for its work in school readiness and early-grade reading, particularly the United Way I READ program. United Way I READ matches volunteer reading mentors with kindergarten students that need additional support as identified by the school, and assists teachers in preparing those students to read proficiently by fourth grade.

“Children generally are reading to learn until third grade. By fourth grade, they should be reading to learn because coursework increases and reading becomes more challenging. Students who do not read at grade level find it increasingly difficult to keep up,” says Anna Kaye, Volunteer Center Director, United Way of Rock River Valley.

United Way’s school readiness and early grade reading programs focus on children at the infant to third grade level. Customers are encouraged to purchase book titles for children through high school grade level, however. Bilingual titles are also requested. The Holiday Book Drive runs through December 31, 2013.

For more information on the Barnes & Noble Holiday Book Drive, contact Sherry Zabikow, Community Relations Manager, by calling 815-332-3069. For more information on United Way’s I READ program or to volunteer, visit www.unitedwayrrv.org or call Anna Kaye, Volunteer Center Director, at 815-968-5400

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United Way of Rock River Valley
The mission of United Way of Rock River Valley is to improve lives and strengthen communities in the Rock River Valley by mobilizing and focusing the caring power of our residents.  For more information, go to www.unitedwayrrv.org or call (815) 968-5400.

About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.  The company operates 674 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com).  Its NOOK Media LLC subsidiary is a leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets.  The NOOK digital business offers award-winning NOOK® products and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store® (www.nook.com), while Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC operates 692 bookstores serving over 4.6 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States. Barnes & Noble is proud to be named a J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion and is only one of 50 U.S. companies so named.  Barnes & Noble.com is ranked the number one online retailer in customer satisfaction in the book, music and video category and a Top 10 online retailer overall in customer satisfaction according to ForeSee E-Retail Satisfaction Index (Spring Top 100 Edition).

General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate website: www.barnesandnobleinc.com.

November's Book Title: Lola Loves Stories

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(Rockford, Ill. - 11/06/2013) – This week, over 3,800 pre-k students will receive this month’s Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program book, “Lola Loves Stories”. The book, sponsored by a grant from Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT), is part of United Way’s school readiness initiative that helps children birth to age 6 learn, grow, and enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

In this imaginative sequel to the best-selling book Lola at the Library written by Anna McQuinn, Lola reads a new story every night with her daddy. The next day, she acts out the story. One day she is a fairy princess, the next day she goes on a trip to Lagos. She becomes a tiger, a farmer, a pilot and more. Children and adults will love following along with Lola’s adventures. The book celebrates imaginative thinking and the importance of books as a way to inspire young minds.

Each month during the school year, pre-k children receive their very own age-appropriate book selected by early childhood specialists. Children begin to build their personal libraries and parents receive tips on ways to engage their young child in learning at home. Teachers also incorporate activities developed around each book title into their classroom curriculum. Books and materials are provided for English- and Spanish-speaking families.

The Page Turner Reading Program, in partnership with City of Rockford Head Start, The Diocese of Rockford, Harlem School District #122, Kreative K, Montessori and Rockford Public Schools District #205, assists pre-school teachers in developing pre-literacy skills essential for kindergarten readiness. Since the majority of brain development occurs between birth and age five, quality early learning and care programs have a profound impact on lifelong success and support cognitive, social and emotional development.

Target, which also sponsored October’s book title, joins a growing number of community sponsors supporting United Way’s school readiness initiative such as Rockford United Labor and school sponsors Alpine Bank, John Morrissey Accountants, Inc., Northwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council, Savant Capital Management and UTC Aerospace Systems.

For more information on United Way’s Success By 6® Page Turner Reading Program or its work in school readiness, contact Linda Sandquist by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 815-968-5400.

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About Target
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) serves guests at more than 1,763 stores across the United States and at Target.com. The company plans to open its first stores in Canada in 2013. In addition, the company operates a credit card segment that offers branded proprietary credit card products. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $3 million a week. For more information about Target’s commitment to corporate responsibility, visit Target.com/hereforgood.