United Way of Cascade County's mission is to mobilize community resources to respond to human service needs in our community. Those needs change on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis as our community responds to and recovers from the Covid-19 virus.
We are currently focusing on the following strategies:
United Way of Cascade County has created a COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery fund to support local organizations who are seeing an increased demand on their services. One-hundred percent of the funds donated will be allocated to support service organizations as they address ongoing and new needs within our community.
To meet the need in our community, our initial goal is to raise $50,000. The United Way board transferred $10,000 from our emergency reserves to help reach that goal.
Our initial distributions will focus on adding capacity to the 211 network so they may continue to provide vital information about COVID-19 and community resources, take the burden off healthcare providers and public health officials, and, importantly, capture community-level data that can help us determine where needs are most urgent.
Once community-level needs have been determined, distributions will focus on supporting the needs of working families, starting with partners which provide individual assistance with things like rent, utilities, food and more.
To donate click here or send checks to United Way, PO Box 1343, Great Falls, MT, 59403.
Connecting community to resources
Local help with childcare, food, energy assistance, unemployment assistance, and more is available. People can call the community help resource line 2-1-1 or search www.montana211.org to find resources that fit their needs. United Way also is reaching out to local nonprofits and is updating our website with information on impacts and changes to the most relevant local services.
Calling the 2-1-1 line will help free medical and emergency responders to address immediate health needs. As new information becomes available, Voices of Hope, a nonprofit which manages the crisis line and 2-1-1, is updating the resource list, including information about which offices are open to walk-ins. Voices of Hope Director Jackie Gittins said the call line also has professionals trained to help people who are feeling anxious or depressed.
United Way also is reaching out to local nonprofits to help address their volunteer needs. Several nonprofits are seeing increased need for their services, but have seen regular community drives cancelled due to shuttered offices and social distancing practices. Other nonprofits rely on senior volunteers who are staying home as a precaution.
Recruiting volunteers and sharing community needs
United Way is posting volunteer needs on its http://www.volunteergreatfalls.org/ website for people who are healthy and able to give their time. The website also has information about local food and blood drives, as well as other ways you can help.
Thank you for joining United Way in supporting our community during this challenging time.