United Way of Clare and Gladwin Counties connects those in need to local Services During COVID-19 Outbreak
For more than 130 years, United Way has evolved to meet the needs of the times. Today, the world needs United Way more than ever. Through triumphs and challenges, we mobilize the caring power of Clare and Gladwin Counties to help people in need.
Executive Director, Sarah Block, says, “As we all face growing concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19), our mission and purpose remain the same. However, our efforts will shift in order to provide the programs necessary to support the shifting health, education, and income needs resulting from our changing environment.”
Your local United Way is working with partner agencies to offer services which will help meet those changing community needs.
“We are monitoring developments of this global pandemic and paying close attention to how they impact families in Clare and Gladwin Counties,” added Block. “We will identify those needs, collaborate with the emerging services to meet those needs, as well as communicate volunteer opportunities as they become available.”
United Way is connected to both the Clare and Gladwin County Emergency Response Teams and will work to provide volunteer management support and connect volunteers to needed tasks.
“We know there will be serious short – and long-term impact during this pandemic, including individuals who become sick, as well as those who are affected by business and school closures,” says United Way Board President, Jane Zdrojewski. “We also understand that means our neighbors may need more help than ever before, and we are creating a community response fund to help ensure families in need can access healthcare, financial resources, and other support.” This fund will also be used to support United Way partner agencies. “These community organizations are the boots on the ground, working tirelessly to help local families, and we will continue to do our jobs so they can do theirs,” adds Zdrojewski.
As always, United Way relies on the pooling of resources and the strength of the community in order to get this accomplished. If you would like to become part of these efforts, there are two specific actions you can take:
1. You may add your name to the volunteer call list. Do this by contacting Sarah at (989) 429-3302.
2. You may make a direct donation to provide financial support for individuals, families, and community organizations through the Community Emergency Response Fund. Through this fund, you can designate dollars to help ensure that these specific donations are used to help local people get through the challenges of the current environment. Please mail your check (any amount welcome) to: United Way, P.O. Box 116, Clare, MI 48617. Please write your check out to United Way of Gladwin County and write “Community Emergency Fund” in the subject line. Please watch your local United Way website and FaceBook page for further details as we are currently working on a protocol to collect donations through PayPal and/or Venmo as well.
Food security has already surfaced as a primary need. To address that need, the following services are available. “Our 2-1-1 helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer calls from individuals in need. We are coordinating with food banks and schools to ensure that, whenever possible, families in need of food assistance can get the help they need,” adds Block.
The Beaverton City Police Department is coordinating with the Beaverton Fire Auxiliary to offer sack lunches daily during school shut-down. Lunches are available at the fire department daily from 11 AM to 1 PM every week day. If you know a child in need of a lunch, please call the BPD at (989)435-9111 or the Fire Hall at (989)435-9854, to place an order. Arrangements can be made for delivery as well.
Beaverton Schools, Clare Public Schools, and Gladwin Community Schools will be offering meals for all children on Mondays and Thursdays. Please call or visit your school Facebook page for specific details of the food services being offered at your school.
2-1-1 provides information on a prescription savings program which we anticipate will meet a growing need as well. Central Michigan Health Department is the source for local details and statistics on COVID-19 here in Clare and Gladwin Counties. http://cmdhd.org
As a community, we are all in this together. This crisis affects everyone regardless of age, race, nationality, or income. When we stand together as a community, we are all stronger, safer, and healthier.