CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — “I just think its really important to give to other people,” Cindy Hubert said. “There’s so many people in need and its just a special time of the year.”

It’s even more special all thanks to you. Central Illinois shattered our expectations, raising $60,000 during our annual “Day of Giving.” This year’s “Day of Giving” had an emphasis on our “Victory Over Violence” initiative.

Your donations are going to organizations that are working to keep our community safe, while others are helping point people in the right direction. We partnered with United Way of Champaign County to make this day happen. Crews were in our back parking lot for 13 hours and once again, Central Illinois’ generosity blew us away.

“This is such a special community,” Sue Grey, CEO and president of the United Way of Champaign County, said. “People come by and they drop off a $50 dollar bill or a $100 dollar bill.”

That was happening all day long at the WCIA parking lot in Champaign. People were in and out to donate to an important cause.

“I mean that just touches your heart so much,” Grey said. “People are so good and generous and kind and that’s what I love about things like this, you really see the best in people.”

Our original goal was $30,000. United Way of Champaign County gave at least $25,000. Combined with your donations, we gathered a total of $60,000 by 7:00 p.m.

“These are great community led organizations, mostly volunteers, very little paid staff, these are grassroots, we care about our community kind of organizations,” Grey said.

Those six organizations are Crime stoppers, First String, Midnight Basketball, Goal Getters, Shop with a Cop, and Dream Girls. They all have the same goal of helping reach victory over violence.

“They’re all good causes,” Connie Rose, donated, said. “I especially like the shop with a cop and the Crime stoppers. Its just a good cause and this is the season of giving so I wanted to give my part.”

“Everyday I pray for no more gun violence and no more anger, hatred, greed or divisiveness amongst the people in our country and around the world,” Cindy Hubert, donated, said. “It makes me very sad.”

So she, and many others, decided to do something about it and organizers couldn’t be happier with the results.

“I’m so grateful that we have such a kind and generous community and they believe that they can help their neighbor and do good things,” Grey said.

We ended our in-person donations at 7:00 p.m., but you can still donate online.