Mt. Vernon Register-News


December 12, 2013

Anonymous donation surprises United Way



"This gift to the United Way is made on this Giving Tuesday to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in honor of John Bey in the hopes that every child in this region is given a chance to read.

"It is the sincere request of this bequest that it be directed to the Imagination Library so that every book request for an impoverished child is honored not only this year, but hopefully in the years to come."

Edmonson said the $6,455 donation will impact the lives of 248 children in the area.

"It only costs $26 to provide monthly books to children for a year," Edmonson said. "Yes, this is a lot of money, but anyone can donate smaller amounts and still impact the life of a child."

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library program is a literacy initiative, which the United Way of South Central Illinois began providing in 2011. The program delivers books once a month to children from newborn to five years old. In addition, a part of the showroom at Rent One on 42nd Street has been set aside for the library portion of the program, with books and seating.

"Someone went to great lengths to make this a truly anonymous donation," Edmonson said. "We tried for a few days to track down who it might be, but it's impossible. We just thank them and every one of our donors."

To find out more about the programs of United Way and its funding opportunities, contact the office at 242-8000 or go online to

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