COVID-19 has posed difficulties for many individuals and families in Ottawa County related to housing, food distribution, daycare, basic needs, and in many more ways. Over the past month we have received support and assistance from our generous and giving community through donations, volunteering, and collaboration. This first phase of local impact continues, and we still need giving, advocating, and volunteering from community members at www.careottawacounty.com.
Since Launching the COVID-19 Response We Have Been Able to:
- Collaborate with the Grand Haven Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Holland Zeeland Area to create careottawacounty.com where people can find help or give help.
- Collaboratively fundraise for a joint “Emergency Human Needs Funds” with the above partners that gave more than 50 grants in 24 days to more than 30 local agencies. These grants totaled approximately $500,000.
- Recruit and mobilize over 350 volunteers, a third of which are credentialed through the Ottawa County Emergency Operations Center.
- These volunteers and grants went to support emergency responses in the following areas:
- Housing Supports
- Food Pantries
- Basic Needs
- Tele-Health Access
- Mental Health
- Senior Food Delivery
- Senior Well Checks
- Shelter In Place Kits
- Prescription Delivery
- & More
- Work with member agencies to identify available alternate housing for people experiencing homelessness.
- Are in contact with all our community nonprofits to ascertain their needs for funds, goods, and volunteers.
Although statistics are showing signs that social distancing is working in Ottawa County and Michigan as a whole, there are many local families who are struggling after being laid off amid the virus outbreak and industry shutdown. A special thank you to those who have given and volunteered to this cause. To continue your valued involvement please find local volunteer opportunity updates here.
In addition, thank you to all the individuals and businesses who have given to the Emergency Human Needs Fund through the Ottawa County COVID-19 response page at ottawacountycares.com. Our impact stories are many and our most recent one “Katrina’s story” is made possible by our generous and giving community.
Read more about Katrina’s story here 👉 Katrina’s Story.
The Next Phase In Our Community Response
United Way is dedicated to the well-being of our community and we are closely watching the developments surrounding the spread of Coronavirus. The work that we have been able to do together so far has been vital to our community’s ability to get through this crisis. But we have to consider this work as phase 1. We are entering a time where the long-term financial and social impact of the virus on our partner agencies, corporate partners, and community members, will also need a similar response.
In order to continue to respond to the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis, Greater Ottawa County United Way will soon be launching our phase two response called the “Community Recovery Campaign”. Stay tuned to this blog for how together, united, our communities will be able to come out of this crisis stronger than ever.
We encourage everyone to read these recommendations from the Ottawa County Department of Public Health miottawa.org/health/ochd/ for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for yourselves and others.
Greater Ottawa County United Way