March 18, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

It was just a short time ago we were contacting you about Christmas and upcoming events at Batavia United Way. What a difference a few months can make! Despite the unnerving uncertainty of watching COVID-19 unfold across the world, we can be confident in the human spirit and our ability to pull through, together. On that note, we wanted to update you on an array of items that may be of interest to you in light of these new circumstances.
Food Drives
Batavia United Way is conducting two food drives. One is aimed at families with children, and one is specifically customized for senior citizens. Wish lists and information for both bags are posted on the Batavia United Way website at www.bataviaunitedway.org
Grocery donations are arriving daily and we will build as many bags as possible to be delivered right into the hands of those that need them. This is meant to supplement the fantastic work our Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry is already doing for our community and the meals that are being offered to kids in need, by our school district.
 
Batavia Chamber of Commerce, along with Insurance and Dealer Services, have been instrumental to this project as they provide drop boxes for us and accept Amazon deliveries for those who prefer online shopping. A big thank you to both offices for making this project possible.
Volunteer Opportunities
To volunteer or not to volunteer in the current conditions is clearly a personal decision and we place no judgement. Only you can determine what your age, health, family, and comfort level will allow at this time. If you can help however, there are two critical needs worthy of mention. Both can accommodate social distancing, masks and other precautions of your choice.
Northern Illinois Food Bank is in desperate need of volunteer help.

In this particular case, large corporate team building groups have canceled volunteer dates as employees have gone remote. Yet, this is where food is sorted, boxed and prepared to be distributed to food pantries all over the county. 


You can register online at www.solvehungertoday.org and view all the shifts available. If you can help out sooner than the posted calendar allows, just give them a call at 630-443-6910 and they will be happy to hear from you.
Kane Senior Council administers the Meals on Wheels program for senior citizens in our area. Batavia United Way has funded this program for years. Many seniors who live alone find it difficult to shop and prepare their own meals. This will only be exasperated by COVID-19.
 
This program provides seniors with a wide variety of ready-to-eat, single serving meals. Frozen meals will be added to the program to help stockpile for the future given COVID-19 and this being a high risk group. Volunteers pack and deliver meals to the homebound seniors. Special dietary needs are accommodated.
We have asked Kane Senior Council if they can accommodate additional clients from our area in light of the pandemic and they said “absolutely”. Batavia United Way will provide emergency funding to help cover some of the costs. Due to a shortage of help, volunteers are needed immediately.
Call direct to 708-872-7820 if you would like to volunteer.
Kane County 211 is experiencing a substantial increase in call volume. Again, 211 is a 24/7/365 information and resource hotline funded by Kane County Schools, Kane County Government, the Dunham Fund, Community Foundation and three United Way locations.
Recently a call came in from a single mom who was a waitress prior to the restaurant shut down. She is now unemployed, worried and trying to control her panic. Another call was from an 84 year old who was fearful of how she would get groceries if she could not go outside.
Every call to 211 is answered by a LIVE specialist, trained to help. Nine additional specialists will be added to the phone banks this week in preparation for an anticipated influx of calls. Last fall, our 211 call center updated technology so that calls could be answered remotely should the need arise. That time is now. We are grateful to have this service and help available to our community.
Benevity  is a company that streamlines corporate donations to charities, non-profits and administers national employee giving programs. Today they announced Benevity’s $300,000 Donation Match Campaign 
“As a company who strives to “walk the talk,” Benevity just launched a public 1:1 matching campaign (up to $300,000) for donations made to your Batavia United Way through our “We Are We” Giving Portal . This is our way of supporting your cause, increasing your (and your supporters’) impact, and hopefully stemming the spread of the virus that is affecting the world on a scale bigger than we could have imagined.”
 If you are considering a donation to Batavia United Way at this time, let’s DOUBLE IT!
Finally, on behalf of the Batavia United Way Board of Directors, we hope you and yours stay healthy, stay safe and keep looking for the silver linings we can find within this crisis. Together, we’ve got this!
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Melinda Kintz
Executive Director

Batavia United Way
www.bataviaunitedway.org

630-877-2780