Kids Can Dream Big with Books

When a child finds a book they love, it can be magical. 

Reading opens new worlds. With a book, kids can imagine new places, think about new ideas and see themselves as anything they want to be. Reading is also the foundation for all learning. Learning math, science, technology, history – mastering all of these subjects requires kids to have strong reading skills.

We are launching our peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) and United Way. 

To access the main fundraising page you can visit:

United Way of Central Illinois is proud to partner with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to bring new, free books to preschool age children in Sangamon County. Since launching the program, we have provided more than 143,000 books to help children across Sangamon County share the joy of reading at home.

Children who are registered for the program will receive an age appropriate book in the mail from birth until their fifth birthday. By age five, children can end up with a 60 volume set of books and more importantly a jump start on lifelong learning. 

Too many children enter school without even the basic skills they need to learn to read. Across the country, one in four kids grows up not knowing how to read at a basic level.1 The statistics are more grave for children who come from under-resourced neighborhoods. Three in five families who struggle to make ends meet have no books in their homes for their children.2

This holiday season consider giving the gift of reading to a child in our community. We’re proud of the success of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, but we can do more. One $25 gift provides a full year of books (12 total) for one child a gift of as little as $10 a month can provide books to five children.  Help kids fall in love with books and fuel a love of literacy among Sangamon County kids.

We hope you will join us by creating your own fundraising page and encouraging friends and family to support our work.

If you are interested in creating your own fundraising page, please follow the instructions below!

Follow this link to get to the main page. From this page, people have the option of making a gift to DPIL, making an undesignated gift to United Way, and/or starting their own fundraiser. As an incentive, if you help us raise $250 or more and receive a United Way Swag Bag!

If you help us raise $500 or more, you will have the choice of the following:

A) United Way Ladies Cardigan

B) United Way Men’s Pullover

When you create your own fundraising page, it will automatically pre-populate the DPIL message, which can then be customized. If you wish to focus on the community fund, you can simply cut and paste the text from the community fund page.

Individual Fundraisers set their own goal amount, can upload their own photo and have the ability to customize their message. They will have their own link to share, have a unique keyword for texting, receive notifications when a friend makes a gift, and will receive a summary and thank you from us after the campaign.

If you have questions, please contact Jarid Brown.


1National Assessment of Educational Progress

2Reading Literacy in the United States: Findings from the IEA Reading Literacy Study