United Way of Knox County, Ohio Inc
Update for the Week of April 20, 2020
Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. You have the power to do good for our Knox County community. We ask you to consider making a gift to the our Response and Recovery Fund to support community resources that serve struggling workers, kids, and families right here in Knox County. We are at our best when we help each other.

Visit uwayknox.org/Respond to donate to the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
In our United Way Newsletter, we gathered more quarantine-friendly activities and volunteer opportunities for the Spring Season. We are excited that many of our monthly community planning meetings have adapted to virtual format. As our community grows more connected and our planning become more strategic through this challenging time, we start to see the path through it. We look forward to sharing these updates from our community partners and programs with the Knox County Community in the coming weeks.
Head Start Families Stay Connected and Cared For
Agency Partner, Knox County Head Start, Inc., provided a detailed update of their program changes and challenges since mid March. United Way supports Head Start & Early Head Start Programs and The Child & Family Wellness Program as well as community program Parent Support Initiative. Executive Director, Peg Tazwell shared the following agency update letting us know that families and children are supported through this challenging time. 

"As concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, Knox County Head Start followed Office of Head Start recommendations to align closures to local school districts and to find innovative ways to continue to support children and families. KCHS is working now to create new procedures for health and safety in centers and home based services at the point of resuming in person services, especially around sanitizing of facilities, materials and equipment. The agency is preparing an application for Head Start summer learning funds to re-open five school year based classrooms in June, should public health orders allow, with a six-week Summer Boost program designed to support children who are going to kindergarten in the fall, and children with special needs."
"KCHS educators and family advocates are reaching out to families up to three times weekly to check in and to offer support for educational and family needs. KCHS staff have provided direct food and materials to over 70 families in need of assistance, with deliveries of food, formula, diapers and pull-ups, thermometers and fever-reducing medications, and health and sanitary supplies. Deliveries and pickups of supplies occur weekly, but in an emergency are delivered immediately. Family advocates have assisted families in accessing local resources and in applying for unemployment when necessary."
"Educators post regularly to KCHS private Facebook center groups with resources and Facebook Live events -- connecting families with online activities and reading books, recording nature walks, teaching parents how to create fun activities at home (like homemade playdough), and sharing “I Love You Rituals” that are used in classrooms. Families were connected with free ABC Mouse subscriptions and provided links to free subscriptions to learning activities. Classrooms are holding open “Zoom Meeting” sessions weekly. Thirty-six home based families (with 50 children) are receiving weekly home learning packets, and preschool teachers have created home learning packets with multiple weeks of activities. A sample of a shared activity is shown below. Since the closure, more than 190 learning packets including materials to complete activities have been provided to preschool aged children, with more to come. Children continue to receive play therapy via tele-medicine, in partnership with Behavioral Healthcare Partners of Central Ohio."
Story Time with Imagination Library
Extra time at home with little ones means a lot of pressure to entertain and educate. Expand your story time to include guests from Ohio Governor's Imagination Library's video reading series! Watch the video on the United Way Facebook Page. Dolly Parton, founder of the Imagination Library, is also sharing a weekly Thursday night bedtime story online that families can participate in for free.
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 .
Youth Adventures from Home
This challenge is open to all! Scouts and non-Scouts. Involve the whole family. Each week,  Muskingum Valley Council will release a list of rank specific Cub Scouting Challenges. Find the appropriate Rank for your kids at home, have them complete the challenges - To add an extra reward, you can take pictures along the way and post to social media to win prizes! For full contest details, visit the Facebook page.
Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland have launched virtual programs through Facebook Live!  The videos are posted to the page after airing live and the programs open to anyone with a Facebook account. Here’s one from a few weeks ago, the presenter takes girls through completing the Cadette: Special Agent badge, completing experiments ranging from forensic splash analysis to extracting DNA from a banana. The video has already been viewed over 1,000 times! Visit this website for GSOH at home written instructions for specific activities. If you have kids at home who are curious about scouting, but you are not quite ready to make the commitment, now could be the perfect time to try!
Our agency partner, SPI, cannot currently offer a physical space for science and play to intersect, but they are supplying fantastic online content. Visit their Facebook Page for quick links to watch penguins play, learn the basics of Astronomy, and so much more! If your family likes what they see online, head over to the SPI website and check out summer camp opportunities.
The YMCA of Mount Vernon's Youth Enrichment is a partnership with several community partners - kids create projects while caregivers exercise. This program is offered for free for Y members and at a low cost for non-members. Youth Enrichment hits on all 3 of the United Way pillars of Education, Health, and Financial Stability.
In lieu of Youth Enrichment, while the YMCA's physical location is closed, we are excited to share that they will be offering Youth Enrichment At Home! United Way usually hosts Youth Enrichment at the YMCA once per month. We are more than happy to help the YMCA deliver the program during this time by providing written instructions for projects, but leave it to the professionals to prepare any video content. Visit the YMCA's Facebook page to access these fun projects.
Positive Support is Available For Parents
Now, more than ever, parents and families need support. Our partner, Knox County Parent Support Initiative Triple P - Positive Parenting Program has the following resources available, which you can access anonymously and free of charge.

Review Hot Topics that could be may be relevant now more than ever as families are spending time at home together.

Individual phone sessions are now available and will give parents the opportunity to talk one-on-one with an accredited Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) provider for up to 30 minutes at each session. As always, Triple P is free to all Knox County parents and caregivers! To find out more please, contact the Knox Parent Support Initiative at psiknox@gmail.com or send a private message on Facebook!
#StayatHome #StopTheSpread

It might feel like a lot of work to adjust to distancing measures. In the end, these measures are intended to keep us safe and healthy.
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 has announced a partnership between Knox Area Transit and the Knox County Community Chaplains group to provide delivery of medications, groceries, and wellness checks 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.

To date, over 120 individuals have called requesting food and prescription transportation assistance, wellness checks, information, or homemade personal 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. 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.