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Community Impact During the Pandemic


It's been a long year plus, and while outlook improves as more of our community gets vaccinated, the work of United Way of Decatur & Mid-Illinois hasn't slowed.  We want to take this chance to reflect on our COVID-19 response and how we have impacted our communities during the pandemic.

ideas:

-lunches in the parks 4 days a week at the beginning of the pandemic
-3 food distribution events
-leading rent and mortgage assistance for community members that have been off work due to COVID
-assisted Chamber with Project Cheer
-awarded Illinois Department of Human Services and Chicago Community Trust grant for Healing Illinois to address racial equity and understanding in 28 counties in Illinois
-COVID resource webpage for all community members to find resources and help at one central location in partnership with Crossing Healthcare, Neuhoff Media, and The Community Foundation
-co-sponsored with Crossing Healthcare, Neuhoff Media, and the Community Foundation the Speak Up Speak Out video series to have an outlet to discuss and understand racial disparity
-awarded $200,000 Illinois Covid Relief Fund grant to assist with immediate COVID relief in Macon County
-hosted in partnership with Door Four Brewing Co the Pints for Pints Red Cross Blood Drive
-Emergency fundraiser for Salvation Army Cold Cots to keep the shelter open
-Committee member, volunteer coordination and donation coordination for the WSOY Community Food Drive
-Staff volunteers at Meals on Wheels, Northeast Community Fund, Good Samaritan Inn

One of the first things we did was we created a COVID-19 Resources webpage to ensure our community had access to any resource they might need. Because we organize and collaborate with so many local partners, we are able to frequently update the page with new resources or changes in services.

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When volunteers were needed, United Way staff stepped up to help our partners in Macon, DeWitt, & Moultrie counties. We assisted with Meals on Wheels delivery, served lunch at The Good Samaritan Inn, and packed food boxes at Northeast Community Fund, among other things.

In partnership with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and The Beach House, we were able to offer free sack lunches to kids 4 days a week in March and April 2020.

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We gave away hundreds of free food boxes to families in need on 3 different Saturdays in 2020 along with Central Illinois Foodbank and our partners. It was also an opportunity to disseminate Census 2020 information to the public.

We hosted "Pints 4 Pints" a Red Cross Blood Drive in July 2020 with Door 4 Brewing Co. to help replenish the blood supply. Red Cross collected 26 units of blood.

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In 2020 we were awarded $200,000 from the Illinois COVID Relief Fund to assist with COVID relief in Macon County.

During the 2020 holiday season, we assisted the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce with Project Cheer, a fundraiser to help out restaurant and bar workers affected by the COVID-19 restrictions. We raised over $22,000 in total.

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When the Decatur Salvation Army was faced with a shutdown due to quarantine guidelines and lack of funding, UWDMI stepped up and secured over $18,000 so they could remain open for their homeless clients and continue their other services.

In January 2021 we coordianted with Crossing Healthcare to get vaccinations for the homeless clients at the Decatur Salvation Army and the office staff. Crossing asked that UWDMI staff volunteer to help fill out paperwork for clients and ensure a smooth operation.

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We continue to secure funds for rent and mortgage assistance to help our community members that have been off work due to COVID-19. We are also working directly with local landlords to provide this necessary relief.

UNITED WAY GOOD SHOPS