Chesney Guest Column: A Season of Giving in Northwest Illinois

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, each of us can find ways to support our neighbors in need; or if you and your family are in need yourselves, to connect with the resources available in your community to help you through difficult times. Numerous civic and faith-based organizations continue to step up each year to lift up local families.

Among us there are neighbors who are facing hunger not just during the holidays, but every day. Last week, I donated canned goods at the Cornerstone Credit Union food drive for the Freeport Area Church Cooperative for Families in Need. If you want to help, the Cooperative is sponsoring several opportunities in our community during November’s Hunger & Homeless Awareness Month. Find out more by calling (815) 233-0435 or visit Freeport Area Church Cooperative on Facebook.

The United Way of Northwest Illinois is one among many outstanding nonprofit organizations in our area. The United Way is a leader in providing resources in response to health and human service needs to improve the quality of life for children and families in Carroll, Jo Daviess, and Stephenson Counties. Call (815) 232-5184 or visit them online at to volunteer or learn more.

We also have an opportunity so support our local small business community throughout northwest Illinois on Small Business Saturday, which is November 26. This year, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they grapple with the lingering effects of the pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation spurred by the reckless overspending of the federal government during the last two years under President Joe Biden. As you make your holiday shopping plans this year, I hope you will join me in supporting the local independent retailers and entrepreneurs who are the backbone of our economy here in northwest Illinois.

I also encourage you to consider Illinois-made products as you shop for holiday gifts this season. The 2022 Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide offers a wide variety of original gift ideas that are unique to Illinois. From custom-made pottery to small-batch spirits and handcrafted candles, you can discover the finest authentic products in Illinois — all while supporting local small businesses. You can see the entire guide online from the Illinois Office of Tourism at

Finally, a personal note of thanks. On November 8, voters elected me to serve as your next State Senator for Illinois’ 45th District. I am profoundly grateful for your confidence in me and pledge to be a champion for northwest Illinois values in the State Senate. It has been my privilege to serve as State Representative for the 89th District during the past four years and I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work in my new role to deliver results for you in Springfield.

As a result of redistricting, residents of northwest Illinois will be served by either John Cabello or Tony McCombie in the Illinois House of Representatives starting in January. I know they will strive to serve you with the same commitment and effective representation that my staff and I have provided since December 2018. Best wishes to each of you and your families for a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

State Representative Andrew Chesney advocates on behalf of the 89th District in Illinois. As a legislator, his policy priorities include cutting taxes, creating jobs, and government accountability and transparency.