August 2020
Greetings!

I’m here with an invitation for you. It is month 6 of the pandemic, which has brought out the most humbling and beautiful moments I have seen human beings create, alongside the grief and grit and fear experienced.

The work of responding to the pandemic and recovering from is far from over. While we talk about getting “back to normal” we know that Normal was not working for everyone. Half of our community was struggling in their daily Normal. 

The work ahead will not be easy. But the work ahead is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine Normal. By taking the lessons learned and building on the unprecedented work we’ve done, we all have an opportunity to join together in building a more equitable, just, and resilient community.                      
                                        
We can chart a new course towards a new normal, one in which racial and economic disparities are addressed and in which every person has equal access to opportunities. 

One in which individuals and families are resilient. 

Thanks to the generosity of so many, we have already done things thought impossible only a few months ago. We have adapted and innovated and improvised and learned. This is not an opportunity to pass up. We can reimagine and we can make our community reflect our values. 

We invite you to look with us into the future and Reimagine. In the months to come, we’ll share more on how we can all join in this work. Together, we can and will build a new normal for our community. 
Won’t you join us?

With gratitude,
Wake Up! with United Way "Adapting Shelters to Social Distancing"

Tune in virtually on Thursday, August 13 at 8 a.m. to join the discussion "Adapting Shelters to Social Distancing." When the COVID-19 pandemic required us to follow social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, new challenges were created for individuals experiencing homelessness. Tune in virtually from 8 – 9 a.m. to explore how organizations in our community responded to those emerging needs, including problems such as social distancing in emergency shelters and quarantining for people without homes who were exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19. 

The panel will feature Beverly Calender-Anderson, Director of the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department; Dana Jones, Director of Center for Men at Wheeler Mission Bloomington; Debra Morrow, Executive Director of Middle Way House; Chase Techentin, Director of The Roof at New Hope for Families; and Keirsten White, Director of the Monroe County Isolation Shelter at Shalom Community Center.

The event is free, but reserve your spot via Eventbrite by 4pm on Wednesday, August 12th to receive the access link to join.
New child care and virtual learning resources in Monroe County

As the school year start and many families struggle with child care, United Way of Monroe County is granting $25,000 towards the new Learning Equity and Resource Needs for Children and Families (LEARN) Fund.

Led by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County to address child care costs and the need for virtual learning resources, this initiative will help ensure Monroe County children and families have the resources needed for children to learn effectively despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The LEARN Fund will be used for child care costs for low-income families or families facing extraordinary circumstances. Funds may also be used to support e-learning related expenses, technology, education services, or other resources children may need to learn effectively while in-person schooling is limited or not possible. Grants from the LEARN Fund will be distributed through child care providers, schools, and nonprofit organizations that work directly with children and families who need assistance.

With lead funding from IU Health Foundation and the IU Health South Central Region through a grant under the IU Health Community Impact Investment Fund, and additional funding support from the United Way of Monroe County and the Community Foundation, the LEARN Fund is launching with $150,000 that will immediately be available to support children and families.
Mother Hubbard's Cupboard adapts to COVID-19

Before the pandemic, Mother Hubbard's Cupboard operated a patron-choice food pantry with the help of over 400 volunteers. To ensure the health and safety of their volunteers and patrons, they suspended volunteerism and changed the way they provide food to the community. They are now offering pre-packaged drive-thru style food, supported by a staff of only seven people.

All of these changes come in the midst of an increased need for food security. COVID-19 has left many in our community with no work or reduced hours. Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is one of many local organizations that ensure individuals and families who find themselves struggling during the pandemic will not go without food.

It is thanks to your support of United Way's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that organizations like food pantries have the support and resources to continue to provide services in these uncertain times. Mother Hubbard's Cupboard received $20,000 from Phase 1, $20,000 from Phase 2, and $12,500 from Phase 3 to support their essential food pantry program and the changes it has undergone to adapt to the pandemic.
United Way Board of Directors welcomes three new members

A big United Way welcome to new Board members Josefa Luce from the City of Bloomington, Christopher Pierce from the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office, and Kirk White from Indiana University. Thanks for your commitment to our mission -- we look forward to working with you! 

Our deepest appreciation to outgoing Board Members Megan Holtsclaw from German American Bank and Adam Wason from the City of Bloomington for their service. The United Way of Monroe County Board is an integral part of our ability to provide services and carry out our mission. Farewell and thank you for your time with us! 

Congratulations and welcome our new Board President, Jerry Sutherlin from Southern Indiana Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, and new Secretary, Geng Wang with Civic ChampsA huge THANK YOU to outgoing Board President, Kirsten Grønbjerg from Indiana University, who will be stepping in as our Vice President. And appreciation to Derek Fields with IU Health who will be continuing as Treasurer.

Thanks to all for your service to United Way and the community! 
Financial Tools for Uncertain Times

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Monroe County is at 10.1 percent, up from 3.5 percent in January of 2020. This increased unemployment only adds to the financial stressors families in our community are facing due to COVID-19.

To help navigate these challenges, the Financial Stability Alliance for South Central Indiana (FSA), a cohesive network led by United Way of Monroe County, developed a free local guide to financial resources including banking, employment, financial education, taxes and stable housing. The guide is available online here.

Additionally, FSA cultivated an online financial resources library which includes helpful tools and websites covering a wide range of personal finance topics. The online financial resource library includes budget templates, financial education workshop materials, credit and debt management resources, and episodes of “The Ins and Outs of Money” podcast to check out.

Explore the links below for virtual financial resources that might be helpful to you!
Join Apprisen for "Making Sense of Your Dollars"

Apprisen, a Financial Stability Alliance partner, is hosting the virtual workshop "Making Sense of Your Dollars," on Tuesday, August 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tune in to learn to make the most of your income in the midst of a pandemic.

In this workshop, you will learn things like your money personality, elements of a spending plan, how to set goals and track expenses, and how to establish and maintain savings.
Last Day of Fresh Friday Food Distribution

In response to the needs brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hoosier Hills Food Bank began distributing food at the food bank to families in need. The final distribution day of this program is approaching on Friday, August 21.

Any household in need of food can stop by the food bank between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on August 21 to receive a package of dairy products, fresh produce, and frozen meat. No ID or proof of income is required.

The food bank is located at 2333 W Industrial Park Dr. For more information, visit www.hhfoodbank.org.
Has a nonprofit impacted your life during COVID-19?

We are hoping to share some of these stories with the community in the coming months.

If you have received help from a nonprofit organization related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please share your story here.
Have you completed the 2020 Census?

It only takes a moment! Visit 2020census.gov to complete the Census and get counted!

And data from the Census inform how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years.

Upcoming Events:

Virtual Wake Up! with United Way "Adapting Shelters to Social Distancing"
Thursday, August 13, 8 - 9 a.m.
Tune in online! RSVP here.

Making Sense of Your Dollars virtual workshop
Tuesday, August 18, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
Tune in online! RSVP here.

Hoosier Hills Food Bank Fresh Friday Food Distribution
Friday, August 21, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
2333 W Industrial Park Dr. More information.
United Way of Monroe County is a nonprofit organization that improves people's lives by addressing critical needs today and working to reduce those needs tomorrow. Through our Community Action Fund and grant initiatives, we work with 24 member agencies and other community partners to ensure families have opportunities and everyone can meet basic living needs.
United Way of Monroe County
431 S College Ave
Bloomington, IN 47403
812-334-8370 // info@monroeunitedway.org
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