United Way of Knox County, Ohio Inc
Update for the Week of May 18, 2020
United Way is accepting online applications from 501(c)(3) agencies for investments through a COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery grant process.

Initial United Way relief efforts supported projects like the delivery of groceries and pharmacy goods to seniors and those with at-risk medical conditions in Knox County. Community agencies are invited to submit applications for programs and projects that will provide essential services to alleviate the community impact of the pandemic and promote stability in Knox County. Many are unable to access the social and community supports on which they rely in their everyday lives, resulting in an increased risk of stress, hardship, and abuse.
uway knox
United Way seeks to deliver value to the Knox County Community by strategically investing in programs that will boost long-term recovery and resilience. Applications submitted should be specific to program efforts that are either expanded or introduced in response to the pandemic and will help our community recover from the impacts of it. The process for completing an application is available online. Organizations interested in applying for program funding are encouraged to contact United Way for more details about the application requirements and process.

Applications will be reviewed on a continuing basis in the order in which they are received. Applications will be accepted and funds will be allocated until the United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc. COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery fund has been exhausted. Please contact Program Director, Elizabeth Doolittle with questions.
United Way looks forward to providing a detailed report to our donors. Information provided to the community will include a report of how the donated dollars are distributed and the community impact of those allocations.
At this time, United Way of Knox County will continue to serve the Knox County community with staff working remotely. Please call our office at 740.397.5721 to learn how to reach staff directly or email liveunited@uwayknox.org
United Way COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund Active
As a community, we are facing a health crisis, with a strong economic impact. United Way steps-in to support the nonprofit programs by directing funds to the organizations helping those who need it most. Our COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery fund offers an opportunity to the community to step-in and assist with that recovery.

Visit uwayknox.org/Respond to donate to our local United Way COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.
Emergency Food and Shelter Funds Available
The Knox County Commissioners and United Way of Knox County Ohio, Inc partner in leading the Emergency Food and Shelter Program Local Board in Knox County, which supports the community in allocating Federal funds to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The EFSP Board has announced an application for Phase 37 and Phase CARES allocations. The application can be accessed through the United Way website or by contacting the Board of Knox County Commissioners. The deadline for applications to be received is 4 p.m., Friday, May 22, 2020.
New Transportation Program
The United Way Investment Program, Interchurch Social Services' Financial Assistance program, currently provides short-term assistance to Knox County residents for rent/rental deposit, utilities, health-maintenance prescriptions, and gasoline vouchers for out-of-county medical appointments. We are proud to announce a new program expansion, which will offer assistance to non-drivers to utilize Knox Area Transit (KAT) as transportation to medical appointments. As with other Financial Assistance options, Interuchurch offices in Centerburg, Danville, Fredericktown, and Mount Vernon will make assistance easily accessible to all and available once every 60 days.
Families are staying home as much as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak; however individuals still need to access medical treatment. Without safe, reliable transportation, stay-at-home orders could leave many individuals without care. United Way partnered with the Knox County Mobility Manager to provide the Grocery and Pharmacy Transportation program and local rides are available and affordable through KAT. Individuals seeking assistance to access out-of-county medical appointments may have limited support networks (neighbors, friends, family members) due to social distancing efforts, which under normal circumstances could be utilized by individuals seeking transportation. Our United Way Partner Agency, Interchurch Social Services has expressed interest in helping the community fill this service gap.
United Way will pilot a program with Interchurch Social Services to provide support for individuals seeking assistance in utilizing KAT to access out-of-county medical appointments. This program will be available to individuals unable to access other transportation reimbursement such as VA benefits or Job and Family Services NET program. ISS has an active Financial Assistance program in place which makes them a natural referral point for those in need and an effective tracking system in place to execute this program successfully. Consistent with the Financial Assistance Program, program objectives include preventing homelessness, ensuring safety and health, and preventing future crisis through case management and referral.
Scouting Activities Renewed
The Muskingum Valley Council announced the re-opening of Scouting Resource Center including the Scout Store. The Partner Agency resumed regular hours starting Tuesday, May 12th. Knox County Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troops also have a new community resource. On May 1, MVC welcomed the newest member of the Muskingum Valley Council Team, Evan Siefke, as the Arrowhead District Senior District Executive. Evan will serve as a primary contact for volunteer Scout Leaders across Knox County.
Muskingum Valley Council has actively worked toward turning this challenging time into an opportunity and connect Scouts in a safe space. While the United Way Partner Programs Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts paused physical meetings, Muskingum Valley Council provided Knox County troops with resources and challenges to keep scouting active from a distance. This included promoting online den and troop meetings, offering an online format for multi-troop interactions in lieu of camps, online Merit Badge sessions, and at home age-appropriate challenges complete with prizes. For more information or to participate in these challenges (no formal scouting affiliation required), visit the MVC Facebook or Website.
Mental Health Awareness Month Continues
The month of May National Mental Health Month. Mental Health Awareness includes both community needs and self aw areness.

Do you know the signs of stress? Do you know when stress starts to negatively affect you? If you are experiencing any of these signs, it could be time to reach out for help.

Look out for your family and friends as well. Stay connected with friends and family. Discuss your concerns and be supportive of theirs.

Distress, anxiety, fear, and strong emotions are normal in times of distress or crisis. The State of Ohio released guidance on coping with strong feelings related to COVID-19. Mental Health needs are even more important through this time anxiety and uncertainty. Find information specific to coping with COVID-19 anxiety on the Ohio Department of Health Website or contact the COVID-19 CareLine at 1-800-720-9616.

Community Partners and Local Providers specializing in providing mental health services are available to assist those in need. The FindTreatment.Gov resource provides contact information for local resources available including our Partner Agencies Behavioral Healthcare Partners and Freedom Center. Visit the Resources for Adults page for an inclusive list of wellness and support options.
File Taxes for Free
Physical distancing and stay-at-home orders make our Volunteer Income Tax Preparation (VITA) program temporarily unavailable, but free tax support is still available. United Way partners with H&R Block to provide free online tax preparation to every household with a simple return. Complete your 2019 Federal and State Tax return from the comfort and safety of your home. Go to My Free Taxes Free Self-Serve Site to file your taxes online. If you are not sure if your return qualifies for the free service, read the guidelines.
Prescriptions and Grocery Delivery Available

United Way of Knox County supports the partnership between Knox Area Transit and the Knox County Community Chaplains group to provide medication and grocery delivery service to seniors and those with at-risk medical conditions in Knox County. Community members can reach out to Susie Simpson at 740-485-5002 requesting food and prescription transportation assistance, wellness checks, information, or homemade personal protective equipment. Deliveries are made Monday through Saturday, from 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., and Sunday from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M.
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.
Visit my2020census.gov to complete the census.

Every 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
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
Our healthcare system is at risk of not having enough supplies to protect themselves as they care for patients with COVID-19. Information on donating fabric face masks and commercial protective equipment is available online. Read the 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.

May 19 from 1-6 at Gay Street United Methodist Church at 18 N Gay Street in Mount Vernon
May 21 from 10-4 at the Memorial Building at 112 East High Street in Mount Vernon
May 28 from 12-5 at Kenyon College in Gambier

To schedule a local appointment at RedCrossBlood.org and enter a Knox County Zip Code, or you can schedule using the free Red Cross blood donor app on a smart phone or tablet. Every whole blood donation can help save the lives of 3 patients!

Volunteer to Help at a Blood Drive

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

Volunteer to Help American Red Cross provide Disaster Relief Services

The American Red Cross is looking for local volunteers that would be willing to help provide local disaster relief services. In addition, they are also looking for 'HELP FROM HOME" volunteers to help with volunteer support. All required training and resources will be
provided. For more information, please email  volunteerohio@redcross.org or visit the volunteer website at  www.redcross.org/volunteer 
Medical Volunteers Needed
Knox Public Health (KPH) And Knox Community Hospital (KCH) are partnering to coordinate a database of volunteer healthcare providers to be utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will be compiling the list of volunteers through an application process.  The application and a more detailed description of data protection as use can be found online.
Support Local High School Students
This has been a difficult school year for our students. The Class of 2020 faces uncertainty of postponed, virtual, or canceled high school graduations. Local efforts were created to honor our county's graduating seniors. The Facebook group "Adopt a 2020 Senior" invites locals to "adopt" a high school senior by sending a letter, a card, or a kind word to help support them through this emotional time.