United Way of Knox County, Ohio Inc
Update for the Week of April 6, 2020
Last week, United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. launched a local Community Response and Recovery Fund.

Funds raised will go toward COVID-19 community response and recovery projects. Those who contribute to the COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund will be supporting projects to help our community members maintain access to food, medical supplies, and stable housing. United Way will make those funds available to United Way Partners, Food For the Hungry, and other groups that require medical supplies. This generosity will provide essential community services to alleviate the community impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
Donors can visit the website uwayknox.org/Respond to place on online donation using their credit card information. If individuals or organization are interested in contributing to the fund, but unable to do so electronically, they may also mail their contribution to the United Way office at 305 E. High Street in Mount Vernon or contact Kelly@uwayknox.org . Every gift makes a difference, especially today.
This is a challenging time. Many adults are working from home or out of work, likewise, parents have become teachers and full-time caretakers as local schools and child care facilities are closed. While losing our familiar social structures can be uncomfortable, it can also be an opportunity for conversation, bonding, learning, and love. In this edition of the Newsletter, we have focused on sharing information and opportunities that could be useful to anyone facing the challenges of retaining a form of community and to support emotional wellness.

Free adventures from home could include a virtual visit to the The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium , taking an online safari at The Wilds , viewing the online collections at the
The Columbus Museum of Art or at the The Cleveland Museum of Art . Explore further by accessing one of the Smithsonian Museums' online Exhibits - though we tend to prefer to keep everything local to Knox County. Try taking a virtual tour of of our Partner Agency, SPI's downtown Mount Vernon location .

The ways to feel connected to family and community are endless. Some of our favorite ideas:

+ Compose an email, place a phone call, or write a letter to a friend or family member to reconnect with someone you may have fallen out of touch with

+ Complete an online training or education opportunity. Visit free sites like the Khan Academy or email Elizabeth to learn more about the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program's online training

+ Form a virtual Book Club. Choose a book that all members can gain free access to by using an online library

+ Organize at home. While many donation collection sites like our community partners Interchurch Social Services and The Salvation Army have paused collections, community members can take this time to organize at home and to identify and set aside items for donation - including those purses needed for Power of the Purse

We are working with our partners to collect program success stories in this challenging time, which we look forward to sharing with the Knox County Community in the coming weeks.
Imagination Library Reading Resources
Extra time at home with little ones means a lot of pressure to entertain and educate. Ohio Governor's Imagination Library continues to share installments of a new video reading series as an additional resource. One video features one of Ohio's most recognizable football faces, Jim Tressel. Watch the video on the United Way Facebook Page.
Dolly Parton, founder of the Imagination Library, has announced that she will share a weekly Thursday night bedtime story online as well .
Have a child between the ages of 0 and 5 who is not enrolled in Imagination Library? This free book program is for all Knox County children under age five - no other qualifications required. Books are mailed directly to your home each month. Registration is available through our website .
YMCA Encourages Activity and Games

Our partner agency, the YMCA of Mount Vernon, continues to support wellness despite temporarily closing their physical building. Activities listed in this fun family-themed BINGO challenge encourage physical and mental health! Visit the YMCA Facebook page for more ideas and motivation.
Scouting Continues from Home
Partner Programs Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have paused physical meetings. Muskingum Valley Council provided Knox County troops with National connections and resources to keep scouting active and scouting from home. A few examples shared were:

+ A 30 day challenge for each scout rank
+ Digital den meetings offered through Zoom and promoted on Facebook
+ Online Merit badge session and emphasis on badges that can be completed at home like Coin Collecting, Personal Fitness and more
A special Jamboree on the Internet already took place on April 3-5. The virtual event allowed scouts to connect with others, learn new skills, bring Scouting online, and build new friendships from home.

Scouts are resilient and boast that they are always prepared. MVC BSA work toward turning this challenging time into an opportunity and connect Scouts in a safe space.
Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland postponed or cancelled all Girl Scout events, trainings and meetings. They have discontinued cookie sales and encouraged girls to donate remaining stock to food pantries.

Troops are encouraged to hold virtual meetings, so they can stay connected and support each other. Scouts can also work on badges and complete service projects at home.
Girl Scouts of the USA plans to release a virtual instruction and engagement programs including:

+ Virtual sessions with badge related activities using materials in their home.
+ Downloadable digital videos, activity resources, and guidance for families and volunteers
+ Virtual service projects

GSOH will continue educating, inspiring and empowering girls, even in the most difficult of times.
Prescriptions and Grocery Delivery Available

United Way of Knox County has announced a partnership between Knox Area Transit and the Knox County Community Chaplains group to provide delivery of medications and groceries, to seniors and those with at-risk medical conditions in Knox County. Susie Simpson, Knox County Mobility Manager is taking phone calls and arranging for deliveries Monday through Saturday, from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., and Sunday from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.
Those needing this service can call Simpson at 740-485-5002.

The program continues to grow. The number of calls requesting food, pantry, and prescription transportation increased in the second week of the program. To date, over 60 individuals have called for assistance.
FamilyWize Prescription Savings Cards
Cards can be used by anyone to receive a discount on prescriptions! When someone calls in to get a script filled or refilled, they can ask that the FamilyWize discount be applied by providing them the following information that is on the card and found online. Since FamilyWize does not require registration, there is no need for to physically show the pharmacy a card.   Additional details are on our website.
United States Census 2020
Visit my2020census.gov to complete the census.

Your response matters! The Census data is used to determine: School lunches, Plans for highways, Support for firefighters and families in need, and so much more in our community. Learn more about the census online.

´╗┐There are several ways to access free confidential assistance to community resources or referrals:
CALL: 2-1-1, 345-HELP, or 1-800-544-1601 
TEXT: your zip code to 898211
VISIT: 211pathways.org
Resources for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Medical Questions about COVID-19, Call 740-399-8014
Physical volunteer opportunities are limited at this time. Instead, we encourage community members to adhere to the stay-at-home instruction from the state of Ohio and to make an impact from the comfort of their home. Once the order has been listed, additional volunteer opportunities will be shared.

We aim to make United Way activities a reflection of Knox County's priorities. We rely on community volunteers to lead the process, we strive to LIVE UNITED.
Local Health Officials Are Seeking Donations For Use In Knox County
Currently our healthcare system is potentially facing not having enough supplies to protect themselves as they care for patients with COVID-19, mainly a respiratory virus. Fabric face masks may help fill this void. These fabric face masks do not filter germs to the level of manufactured healthcare masks but these masks serve as a barrier. Local healthcare providers are also seeking donations of other commercial protective equipment. Find full details prepared in partnership with United Way, Knox Community Hospital, and Knox Public Health online.
American Red Cross Blood Drives

Public Health is currently a large concern. Cancelled appointments and drives put the country at risk for a blood shortage. Healthy eligible donors are encouraged to give back to their community by donating blood. Upcoming Emergency Response Blood Drives will be hosted at the Memorial Building Lower Level Dining Room at 112 East High Street in Mount Vernon. Drives are planned for:

Thursday, April 9 - available appointments 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 16 - available appointments 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

United Way partner agency American Red Cross, has partnered with Knox Community Hospital for these drives - please use sponsor code KCSC when registering. For anyone wanting to donate, it is best to schedule an appointment. The link to schedule at the Memorial Building is RedCrossBlood.org, sponsor code KCSC, or you can schedule using the free Red Cross blood donor app on a smart phone or tablet. If those dates and times are not convenient, other opportunities to donate can be found on the website at RedCrossBlood.org.

We rely on our donors and community drives to meet the needs of our hospitals and patients. Every whole blood donation can help save the lives of 3 patients!

New protective measures include pre-donation temperature screening, enhanced disinfecting, social distancing, staff wellness and protection, and increased educational materials. The space at the Memorial Building allows for implementation of social distancing measures. Donors are advised to plan for the appointment to last about an hour.

Volunteer to Help at a Blood Drive

Contact Becky at Becky.Glass@RedCross.org for detailed volunteer selection information.
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