Good Saturday, everyone! I want to give you a couple of updates from our office.

The first and most important is … we have moved! Well, we are in the process of moving. Our lease expires at the end of June, so we are still going through boxes of what needs to stay and what can be shredded or tossed.

Our new address is 425 N. Gilbert St., Suite 3. We are across from the old Schroeder Restaurant and in the same building as Ameriprise Financial Services. Rick Elkin with Heartland Properties, also a donor to the United Way, offered us a newly remodeled office with plenty of parking and more parking to come soon. We downsized in space, but over the years we have also downsized in number of staff, so it is all working out well.

We will temporarily be in Suite 2 until the whole remodel is complete, but by this next year’s campaign, we will be comfortably in our new home. Feel free to come by if you want.

Second update: We are finishing up our new strategic plan. I think you are all going to like it. The plan comes from doing two different surveys last fall during our campaign. We are very excited to have a plan to better our community and the lives of our residents. We need to do a better job at being able to show the impact you are making through your donations at United Way.

Third update: We are still helping individuals and families who have lost wages or employment due to the COVID-19. Since my last update, we have received funds of $2,500 from Iroquois Federal and a matching contributions up to $1,500 from State Rep. Mike Marron, along with several residential contributions.

We are so thankful for the support. We are now offering a second month of housing assistance to self-employed individuals. They were finally allowed to apply for unemployment on May 11, which is two months after the stay-at-home order went into effect.

We also are now helping with up to $400 in utility assistance.

I want to thank so many different offices and agencies that have worked alongside us during these trying times. Love INC and Unmet Needs Committee are the agencies taking the calls and making the assistance with us. Salvation Army, East Central Illinois Community Action Agency and The Dwelling Place have been making some huge differences in several families’ lives that were for needs outside of our relief funds guidelines.

Also, I want to thank Sen. Scott Bennett’s office and State Rep. Mike Marron and his office for also taking calls and helping residents with their unemployment and other issues. They really do care about this community and it has shown through this pandemic.

In the end, when we unite and work together, we can make greater impacts. Everything we do through this office is for you and by you. Our donors make our community stronger because they LIVE UNITED!

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 425 N. Gilbert St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone, 442-3512

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