The United Way of Will County is doing something today that they did in the 90’s following the tornadoes that touched down in Plainfield, Crest Hill and Joliet. President and CEO Mike Hennessy says the United Way of Will County stands ready to help those in need due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
United Way of Will County has enacted our Disaster/Crisis Protocol which includes a 3-prong approach:
- Identify resources for those in need
- Identify opportunities to help those in need
- Enact local response donation fund.
To seek assistance we encourage one to call our 24/7 Helpline operated by Crisis Line of Will County; Phone: 815-722-3344; Website: www.willfinduhelp.org.
We also have a Community Resource document that is a compilation of services available and refers to common questions received by our office. This document and information will soon be on our website https://uwwill.org. We contract with a Joliet, small business owner to maintain our website and are working with him to expedite the needed updates.
Opportunities to Help
In order to assess the opportunities to help, we are actively working with community-based partners on identifying their needs. Currently, we have a survey gathering the in-kind needs, unforeseen hardships, and changes to hours of operations or programs for local organizations. Initial findings are consistent:
- 65% report financial needs to assist with operations and programs due to increased cleaning/sanitizing costs and/or cancellation of fundraising events.
- 70% report a critical lack of cleaning, sanitizing and proper Personal Protection Equipment including masks and gloves.
- Organizations that rely on volunteer support are experiencing volunteer shortages.
As we continue our outreach efforts, these opportunities will continue to unfold. Our Online Volunteer Center: https://uwwill.galaxydigital.com/, is currently equipped with an on-going list of in-kind donations needed, as well as a link for volunteers to give their time.
Local Donation Fund
With the surge in unforeseen needs, It’s critical that these organizations have the resources they need to continue to operate at the highest capacity. A donation to the Will County COVID-19 Response Fund will support the agencies that are ensuring our neighbors can access basic needs in this time of crisis.
- Will County COVID-19 Response Fund Link: https://www.uwwill.org
Together, we will get through this crisis, and be stronger as a community.