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Board director gives annual year-in-review

Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST
Elizabeth Klahn, 2013 United Way of Whiteside County board member passes the gavel to Jeff Detra, incoming president. Photo submitted by Russ Siefken.

The annual meeting of the United Way of Whiteside County was Feb, 20, with partner agencies and United Way board members present.

A year in review of the programs the United Way oversees was given by Russell Siefken Jr., executive director.

“Let’s Feed our Children” free lunch program prepared and served 32,532 lunches last year in Morrison, Tampico, Sterling, and Rock Falls. The volunteers worked with the YMCA summer program and served breakfast to 2,300 kids 3 days a week for 8 weeks. A total of 31 churches and organizations helped with the 12-week program by volunteering and helping to finance the program. The Sauk Valley Foodbank was a distribution hub during the summer for all the supplies and pickups.

The “Literacy is Fun for Everyone” free book program sends an average of 1,345 books to children in Whiteside County on a monthly basis  Newborns receive a book a month until the age of 5.

The “Pharmacy Assistance program,” helped 355 applicants with the average cost per vouchers of $31.80. The program helps uninsured Whiteside County residents with $50 every 3 months.

In 2013 United Way of Whiteside County joined the “2-1-1: service for those who live in the country to turn to when in need of services. The call center is open 24/7 and 365 days a year, with 18 volunteers speaking more than 20 languages. 

"The call center has been able to help Whiteside County residents during the cold and snowy days, plus directing people in need on a daily bases with food, shelter, utility assistance, rent assistance plus other basic needs.  In the first three months over 300 callers have been helped," Seifken said.

Elizabeth Klahn, a partner at Ward Murray Pace and Johnson, outgoing board president turned over the position to Jeff Detra, a vice president at Sauk Valley Bank.

Nick Hubbard, from RRCA, was seated as a new board member. The board consist of 18 board members.  

The 2013 United Way of Whiteside County Recognition Celebration will be March 26.

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