United Way of Knox County, Ohio Inc
Update for the Week of May 4, 2020
United Way is doing what it has always done – addressing the immediate needs and planning for the long-term stability of our community. Join us in raising money and raising awareness to provide support to those left most vulnerable by the pandemic.

Visit uwayknox.org/Respond to donate to our local United Way COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

A new tax incentive has been announced for individuals who give to qualifying charities. As part of the CARES act, Americans can make an "above-the-line" deduction for up to $300 in charitable donations given in 2020 - meaning that individuals who choose to take the standard deduction when completing their taxes and give $300 to charity, will get a $300 tax break in addition to the standard deduction. For corporate donors, the CARES ACT allows a tax deduction of up to 25% of the Adjusted Tax Income for contributions to qualifying charities starting in 2020.
In our United Way Newsletter, we are sharing the unique ways in which our partners have overcome the challenges of physical restrictions. We are inspired by their ability to see opportunities to adapt. We look forward to continuing to share updates and success stories from our community partners and programs in the coming weeks.
Responsible Return
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
Local Volunteers Give Blood to Help Save Lives
The American Red Cross is planning to prevent blood shortages and keep donors safe. They have broadly encouraged healthy eligible donors to give back to their community by donating blood. Knox County's Blood Services program swiftly responded to cancellations and restrictions to organize new drives using enhanced protective measures. Knox County residents, in response, answered the call by filling all available blood donation appointments that were offered.
Becky, American Red Cross Blood Services drive coordinator shared that the drives have been very successful. In the few drives held, 202 units of blood were collected, which can help save 606 lives!

Those giving blood were very receptive to the new policies, which included pre-donation temperature screening, enhanced disinfecting, social distancing, staff wellness and protection, and increased educational materials.

Courtney, a blood donor described the staff as professional, friendly (even at the end of their long day), and quick. She said that everyone was doing their part to follow CDC guidelines for both staff and donors.

The feedback that Becky received was that most people felt more secure in the process with the additional safety procedures and were glad for them, even if it made wait times a little longer. Donors should plan for the appointment to last about an hour.
Additional community blood drives coming up are listed in the Volunteer section of this email.
Centerburg Senior Services Meet an Emerging Community Need
In mid-March, United Way Partner Agency, Centerburg Senior Services paused activities at the Center including United Way Investment Program, the Health and Wellness Program in accordance with the Ohio Governor’s orders for fitness and recreation centers to cease operations. Other programs, such as their meal delivery Meals on Wheels program saw an increased demand. CSS informed United Way that they were purchasing food from Mid-Ohio Food Bank and local stores to make Emergency Food Bags (as shown in image).
The food expenses put a burden on CSS overall budget and they requested to use United Way funds to purchase supplies for the Emergency Food Bags program. In the spirit of COVID-19 Relief and Recovery services, United Way worked with CSS to make this program possible and connected CSS with Food For the Hungry for future food program plans. We are excited to share that on April 17, over 100 high-risk seniors received Emergency Food Bags allowing them to remain safely in their homes.
Story Time with Imagination Library
Celebrity Story Time continues! The Ohio Governors Imagination Library shares videos featuring different Ohio Celebrities reading. Dolly Parton continues her weekly Thursday night bedtime story online and videos are available to view anytime . The release of the upcoming documentary "The Library that Dolly Built" has been postponed from April 2020 to the fall. Watch the movie trailer online.
The program is growing! As families stay-at-home, they are signing up to receive Dolly's Books. We've had 97 new enrollments since March 11, 2020 bring our current program enrollment total to an amazing 1,985 children. Our United Way has seen 20% MORE children ages of 0 and 5 to enroll in Imagination Library than the same time period in 2019. 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. Register your child today using the tool available on our website .
National Mental Health Month
Mental Health Awareness was first launched in the 1940's as an Awareness Week and expanded to the month of May in the 1960's. Activities in the month are aimed to fight stigma, provide support, and educate our community.

In that spirit of awareness and activism, we take this time to emphasize Partner Success Stories with a Mental Health Theme. United Way partner Behavioral Healthcare Partners provide the School Intervention Program which provides support to schools in identifying and correcting behavioral health challenges in order to lead to greater academic success.
One example of program success is a 17 year old student who was having emotional outbursts in class which resulted in removal from the classroom at least one time a day. The students was not completing school work and was on probation.

Just one year later. The support and intervention provided by the School Consultant enabled the student to maintain positive behaviors and improve classroom participation. The students has been released from probation, received credit for all first semester classes and is on track to receive full credit for all coursework for this school year.
January through March, 26 Centerburg, 7 Danville, 56 East Knox, and 47 Learning Center students received intervention services such as assessment, crisis de-escalation, emotional regulation, or safety planning. These are services are provided at the school, directly where help was needed. This program also includes school staff and parents through consultations and Classroom Education Interventions.

If you or someone you know may benefit from additional support, Behavioral Healthcare Partners (740.397.0442) can provide assistance over the phone or through a video chat and Knox Public Health Community Health Center offers Outpatient Counseling Services for anyone facing difficulties and interested in seeking additional help.

Our Local KSAAT website also outlines active options for substance use, addiction, and mental health services to the community including United Way Partner Agency, The Freedom Center.
Mental Health Awarenedd includes both community needs and self aw areness. We encourage everyone to assess their own mental health needs in 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 CareLine.
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.

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. Community members can reach out to Ms. Simpson at 740-485-5002 requesting food and prescription transportation assistance, wellness checks, information, or homemade personal protective equipment.
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.

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.
Economic Impact Payments
The Federal and Ohio tax deadlines are extended to July 15. However, it may be advantage to file early and make sure that Economic Impact Payments are accurate and delivered directly to the correct bank account. File for free online.

Many individuals who do not usually file taxes - including Eligible Social Security recipients, railroad retirees - are not required to file a return or provide further information. For other non-filers, The IRS needs information on how they can deliver this money. This can be submitted to the IRS free of charge.

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
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 6 the Fredericktown, the Community Blood Drive held at the Fredericktown High School gym. This drive goal is 120 donations. Every donor will be offered Free Pizza Coupons thanks to generous contributions from local Dominos owners, Russ Mentzer and Adam Johnson!
May 8 from 11-5 at the Memorial Building at 112 East High Street in Mount Vernon
May 14 from 11-5 at the Memorial Building at 112 East High Street in Mount Vernon
May 19 from 1-6 at Gay Street United Methodist Church at 18 North 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.