Our Community At Its Best

Jan Wright, Publisher, iBi

Some of the best things about my role at Peoria Magazines are the opportunities I get to visit various businesses and nonprofit organizations. Our annual “Community Impact” issue, focused on the region’s nonprofit community, has become one of our most popular—in part because the need to fundraise, solicit volunteers, recruit board members, build awareness and stay top of mind is ever-present.

Last month I was able to tour Sophia’s Kitchen and learn more about this wonderful organization. When I arrived, the program director met me with a big smile, proudly showed me the kitchen facilities, and introduced me to volunteers and guests. Food insecurity is a huge issue in Peoria—it’s mentioned several times throughout this issue—and Sophia’s Kitchen is among the organizations tackling that problem head-on.

While I have not personally toured all of the nonprofit organizations in this issue, I am very familiar with the resources they provide and the needs they fill. We are proud to put together this resource for the entire community once a year, while helping to promote their events all year-round.

Check out our Community Impact Calendar for a list of upcoming nonprofit events and fundraisers—and support them with your presence or donation! Take a moment to sign up for our free, weekly e-newsletter to stay on top of news and events in the Peoria area.

Also highlighted in this issue is Greater Peoria Honor Flight, an all-volunteer organization that helps send our military veterans to Washington, DC, to view the memorials in their honor. I was fortunate to have attended the first Honor Flight out of Peoria five years ago, and it truly was an emotional experience. The veterans are so very thankful, as we are for their service. A big thank you to Margaret Hanley and Lesley Matuszak for cofounding our Peoria chapter—and to all of the officers, volunteers and guardians for their continued work and support.

Reading about the purpose and mission of these organizations reminds me how blessed I am to have my daily needs met. We all grumble at times about this or that, but I am mindful of the privileges I have: a career that provides purpose and pays the bills; the ability to buy safe, wholesome food; health insurance should I fall sick or ill; a roof over my head for shelter; and a means of transportation, providing mobility and independence.

Thank you to all of our nonprofit organizations, which exemplify our community at its best—and to all of the volunteers, employees, board members and philanthropists who keep them strong. iBi

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