Sunday, March 7, 2021

United Way rallying to help those in need, launches

The United Way of Chatham-Kent is rallying to support those in need during the

United Way officials say since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, public health, several municipal departments, social services agencies, community groups, and the United Way of Chatham-Kent have come together to ensure continued support for those most in need.

Grassroots groups have formed.

Neighbours are helping neighbours.

Volunteers are stepping up.

Everyone has an important role to play, United Way officials say.

“We know many people in Chatham-Kent cannot afford to prepare, and do not have a support system around them if they contract COVID-19 or need to self-isolate,” stated Steve Pratt, Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Chatham-Kent.

“We are already experiencing how quickly the situation is evolving; we need to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported. We know firsthand that when we all work together, we can make a difference. That is why we are asking the community for their support by showing their local love in a global crisis.”

Working with community partners, United Way has identified the following needs, while anticipating they will continue to grow:

– Help for seniors — ensure that while vulnerable people are isolated, they are also supported

– Basic needs — ensure people have access to life’s essentials, such as food

– Capacity for community services — ensure that community partners can continue to do their vital local work

– Mental health support – ensure people know where and how to access help through supporting system navigation services, like 2-1-1

– Support for volunteers — there are amazing people rallying to support others — they need our help too.

“While public health authorities and local hospitals, doctors, nurses and other front-line staff, have been working to prepare for COVID-19 cases across our region, it is important to work with partners like United Way and others to ensure local social services can offer support where it is needed,” stated Dr. David Colby, Medical Officer of Health for Chatham-Kent.

“As the situation evolves, so too will the needs in the community. While people care for their families and those closest to them, we urge you to think of those who may need extra support to prepare, or those who need support while in self-isolation.”

United Way has launched to help with coordination efforts and raise emergency funds for those most vulnerable, United Way officials say.

The site will provide information and referral, a way to help connect those wanting to volunteer with the front-line agencies and community groups looking for volunteers, as well as allow for people to make a donation to support those most in need.

“We will continue to work closely with key partners, including health authorities, community organizations, front-line agencies and newly created volunteer groups as they emerge, by investing to support the communities we serve in this time of great need,” Pratt said.

“It is our role to aid in the ongoing support of our community, and to ensure that vulnerable populations are not left behind.”

To assist in the coordination of the local COVID-19 response efforts, United Way has partnered with Gigit, a social media platform that is helping to connect nonprofits to their communities.

“We are pleased to be supporting United Way through providing the technology that is helping to bring the community together,” stated Christopher McIntosh, President of Gigit, in a media release.

“We are happy to do our part through making this solution available at no cost and will continue to work closely with the Chatham-Kent community in their response efforts in the days and weeks ahead.”

Find out how you can help by visiting today.

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