Youth Opportunity

This impact area helps young people realize their full potential through programs geared towards areas like child + early childhood development, in-school- after school and summer learning, literacy development, family engagement, STEM education, and college + career readiness.

The United Way of Greater McHenry County empowers youth to feel inspired to be model citizens in the community. Through collaborative efforts with our partners agencies, we reach young ages and equip students with the knowledge to be advocates and encouragers through informational presentations and field trips.

We work with groups like Operation Warm to provide those in need with coats and donors who host an annual school supply drive. We coordinate these efforts so that families with a need can access these items efficiently with little stress.

The United Way of Greater McHenry County is excited to announce that the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to McHenry County is available in McHenry County, thanks to the generosity of our donors. 

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by gifting books free of charge to children from birth to age five through funding shared by Dolly Parton and local community partners in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland. The United Way of Greater McHenry County is excited to announce that, as of April 2024, we are the official funding partner for children in McHenry County!

This program is uniquely equipped to unite a community by fostering an inclusive environment for all children, promoting activities that heal families regardless of economic status, mobilizing the community to promote early childhood literacy, and growing local partnerships. Reading aloud with children is proven to strengthen brain development and build positive and strong relationships between parent(s) and child, directly impacting the child's social, emotional, language, and literacy skills. 

There is no better time than now to make a transformational change in the lives of others. Click the link below to give today!

United Way of Greater McHenry County works to close the gaps in access to quality youth related services. Investments in youth opportunity include the following programs: 

2023-2024 Youth Program Grants

4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care 

Child Care Resources & Referral | $8,000

Child Care Scholarships (Advance McHenry County) | $111,715


Big Brothers Big Sisters

Mentoring Programs | $61,250

Big Futures Program (Advance McHenry County) | $53,000

MSW Resource (Advance McHenry County) | $64,700

Case Worker (Advance McHenry County) | $22,700


Boy Scouts Blackhawk Area Council 

Youth Programming | $1,000

Community Action Agency 

Head Start-Early Childhood Education | $60,000


Friendship House 

Day Care | $17,750


Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois

Latina Youth Programming | $3,000


Pioneer Center for Human Services 

Delinquency Prevention | $25,000


Sage YMCA of Metro Chicago 

Summer Day Camp | $9,000


Youth and Family Center of McHenry County 

Delinquency Prevention | $19,675

Bilingual Outreach | $6,575

Counseling MSW (Advance McHenry County) | $77,485