Good Saturday morning, everyone! I would like to give you an update on our COVID-19 Relief Fund, as well as give you some insight on issues happening in our area.

This last week we were given another large donation from a business in our area. Envirox, LLC donated $10,000 to be used to help families in all our coverage areas. Envirox is a United Way supporter and has a workplace campaign each year at its business. We are very grateful for the funds they have given us to help our community.

We also have had several individual donations that I would like to mention. They are from: John O’Rourke, Karel Volpert, Barbara Moore, Cheri Hembrey, Mary Mancuso, Linda Curtis, Mary Ann Bates and Anne Kinate. Thank you, thank you!! You are an inspiration and making such a difference in our community.

Since the beginning of distributing funds, we have paid rent or mortgage payments for 17 families and provided gift cards to area grocery stores for 18 individuals. We also have had the assistance of the Dwelling Place, for several other individuals, giving grocery store gift cards for food. We appreciate so many organizations, like them, that work alongside us, not just now but all year.

Of course, when we started off, we were able to gift CRIS Healthy Aging Center with $7,000 to help supply 6,300 emergency meals to seniors in our area. In the last two weeks we have had several requests from either an individual or a business to help a homeless person or family. So far, we have been able to assist each one through the help of Love INC., Salvation Army and East Central Illinois Community Action Agency.

Other requests were due to no heat in a home of an elderly man this last week when it got chilly again. No cool air in a home of a woman with a medical condition, when we had our welcomed warmer days. High prescription cost for an elderly person in our area. All these needs were not COVID-19 related but we were still able to assist them.

We do still have plenty of funds to help those who are out of work due to the COVID-19, so please pass along that information so we can assist them. This homeless situation could be any of us who are not prepared with an emergency fund and do not have family willing to help. Our relief fund has these cases in mind. We do not want anyone losing their place of residence when we could help keep them in place.

I will do my best to keep you informed of the needs in our area. We will continue to take donations if you would like to help. This is just the beginning; we have a long way to go and it takes all of us UNITED together to prevail in these unknown times.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone, 442-3512

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