CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A $300,000 donation is helping the community claim Victory Over Violence.

The donation is comprised of $50,000 donations from the University of Illinois, Busey Bank, Christie Clinic, Carle Health, OSF Healthcare and the United Way of Champaign County. The money, deemed Investment for Impact, will go to the United Way of Champaign County to be put back into the community through both immediate and long-term solutions to solving violent crime.

“Champaign County is our home, and in the past few years our community has seen a rise n violent crime, especially among youth and young adults,” said President/CEO of United Way of Champaign County Susan Grey. “Our county is not alone in this issue: National data show an increase in violent crime across communities in the United States. And while the rise in community violence is national, solutions must be local. Together, we will support proven strategies that work toward solutions to violence, building a brighter future and changing the statistics.”

The road to this large donation started with the partnership between WCIA and the United Way of Champaign County to bring Victory Over Violence to the community. The initiative, Victory Over Violence, started last fall. The idea for Victory Over Violence came after WCIA leaders saw countless reports of violence and wondered what could be done to address it. After partnering with the United Way, that’s when the initiative got up and running.

The initial amount raised for Victory Over Violence was $60,000. That money was raised during a Day of Giving drive in WCIA’s backlot as well as all around central Illinois. Because of the generosity of those across the area, 12 programs were able to each get $5,000. Those programs included Shop with a Cop, Goal Getters and Champaign County Crime Stoppers.