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COVID-19 Community Update

3/31/20 Community Update

Dear friends,

We are writing to share our CEO’s Message to the Community video and recent updates on steps United Way of Hunterdon County (UWHC) and our partner agencies are taking to keep our community safe.

First, I want to announce United Way of Hunterdon County has joined forces with United Way of Northern New Jersey to promote the ALICE Recovery Fund. COVID-19 doesn’t recognize county borders and we believe it is important to join forces to support ALICE – the quarter of our neighbors who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. These households struggled to afford the basics even before COVID-19 hit. Many of them are made up of essential workers who are on the frontlines of this crisis and we believe it is essential to support them in the immediate and long-term. Working with our partners, this fund will be distributed to ALICE households impacted by COVID-19 throughout the region.  We welcome and encourage all of you to contribute if you can, what you can, to this recovery fund, or to the ongoing support programs run by United Way of Hunterdon County. It is more important than ever, to support our neighbors in need. Those of you familiar with us know our credo of “Give. Volunteer. Advocate.” Now it the time for all three, as we lift up and sustain one another.

The UWHC Community Volunteer Center is the county drop off point for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is desperately needed by our doctors, nurses and first responders. Donations can be dropped off daily at 20 Fulper Road, Flemington from 9:00am to 6:00pm. A complete list of needed items can be found here.

We are proud to have our volunteers, board and staff support and man this effort to benefit our front-line medical heroes.

UWHC is working closely with our nonprofit and government partners to identify and address needs throughout the county; we also are engaged with United Ways and other nonprofits across the state to offer our support and identify ways we can work together to assist our communities. Many of you have asked how you can help at this time and the short answer is stay home. There are many ways to volunteer from your home. For example, if you are a college student a great way to help is by assisting with senior well checks. The longer answer is that if you do want to be out in the community volunteering, your local food pantry or Meals on Wheels may need assistance with delivering food to people. We continue to explore ways to fill gaps and support the community in partnership with health and human service agencies. We will put out the call for volunteers as needed.

We at United Way continue to identify ways in which we can support our community in the short, medium and long-term because we know that once the virus has gone, it will have severely compromised our community. We will be here to make sure every one of our neighbors has the opportunity to get back on their feet.

Continue to look out for each other. Support the ALICE Recovery Fund if you are in a position to do so. Reach out to Hunterdon Helpline or NJ211 for general information. For health-related inquiries contact the New Jersey Department of Health 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222. A complete list of useful sites can be found at the Hunterdon County Department of Health or the Hunterdon Healthcare Hotline at 908-788-6440.   The hotline will be open seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Together we will get through this.

Sincerely,

United Way of Hunterdon County Team

United Way of Hunterdon County Supports Hunterdon Healthcare Heroes

United Way of Hunterdon County’s Board of Trustees raised $2,375 to help Hunterdon Healthcare System meet the growing demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The money was raised in just 24 hours in response to a board challenge issued by board president, Brad Muller. “In times of crisis, whether it be local (the Frenchtown Fire) or national (9/11), our United Way has answered the call to help our friends and neighbors.  Now that help is needed perhaps more than ever before.  I knew our Board would step up - they always do!” When we encourage others to embrace our credo of  “Give. Volunteer. Advocate.”, we believe it should start at our own doorstep, and that is what we have tried to do with this gift to Hunterdon Healthcare.

The priority in this moment is to make sure our community is safe, well and healthy. The board and staff of United Way of Hunterdon County believe it is our responsibility to help ensure our healthcare providers and first responders have the protective gear they need so they can continue to care for us.

 

 

 
Letter from our CEO 3/27/2020
 
Warm greetings to our friends and neighbors,
 
For more than 30 years, United Way of Hunterdon County (UWHC) has been committed to serving the community through triumphs and challenges. We have remained committed to mobilizing the caring power of the community to help people in need. As we all face growing concerns about COVID-19, our mission and purpose remain the same. 
 
Our community’s health is of the utmost importance to us. To that end, we are taking CDC recommended steps, and adhering to the directives issued by Gov. Murphy, to ensure the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and clients. We are taking immediate steps as an organization to reduce risk; please note the following changes to our services:
 
  • Our offices and Community Volunteer Center are CLOSED until further notice.
  • All events associated with United Way of Hunterdon County have been cancelled or postponed. We will alert the public to new dates as events are rescheduled in the future.
  • The VITA Free Tax Preparation program has been postponed for the next 4 weeks. NO VITA activities will be occurring until we reassess the safety of holding the program, no sooner than April 15th. Clients who had appointments will be contacted and rescheduled when the program resumes. 
 
In addition, in our role as lead agency for VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) the Hunterdon County Division of Emergency Management has activated UWHC to serve as its Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donation Management Partner. Details will be shared on this soon.
 
We have been asked how you can volunteer to assist during this challenging time. The best thing we can all do to help each other is follow CDC, state and local recommendations and be careful of spreading the virus, as well as misinformation regarding the virus. We are exploring ways to fill gaps and support the community in partnership with health and human service agencies. We will put out the call for volunteers when it is safe to do so, and as definable need is identified.
 
UWHC will be (virtually) convening a group of partner agencies to assess needs throughout the county, and will disseminate this information as appropriate. We know you want to help, and for that we are so grateful. Please let us figure out the best way, the safest way, for you to do so.
 
In the meantime, organizations that help our most vulnerable populations during times of crisis are experiencing higher demand. For example, our local food pantries can use immediate assistance of monetary and food donations. Local municipalities may have other ways in which community members can support efforts to keep our populations safe and healthy.  
 
And all members of the community can access information and resources by visiting NJ211 or Hunterdon Helpline.
 
Any other health-related inquiries should be directed to the New Jersey Department of Health 24-hour hotline at 1-800-222-1222. A complete list of useful sites can be found at the Hunterdon County Department of Health.
 
Stress and uncertainty impact each of us in a different way. Please remember that many in our community are not only worried about their family’s health, they are also concerned about their financial wellbeing and stability. A little extra kindness will go a long way.
 
Let’s help each other to stay safe and healthy, and feel supported. No one is alone in this.
 
Sincerely,
Bonnie Duncan, CEO