Wooster, Ohio (April 6, 2020) – United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties (UWWH) are continuing their hard work in the local fight against COVID-19. As the organization has taken the lead as the call operators for the Joint Information Center, they have also been working hard to raise funds for local relief to help those that have been most affected by the virus.

“My team has done a phenomenal job making COVID-19 our internal focus the last few weeks” said Katie Koglman, Executive Director of UWWH. “And that will continue. We saw the need as this pandemic was hitting and have adapted to assist with the growing needs in the community.” She continued. UWWH has taken over 500calls in the last three weeks answering questions ranging from community members about available resources for those that are out of work, to questions about the virus itself and questions from business owners about how they can keep their essential employees safe. Here is a snapshot of a few hours of calls:

Date Time Age Zip Need/Question

4/1/2020 10:28 AM 61 48202 Are driveups still allowed to help people in need during COVID-19?

4/1/2020 10:28 AM 61 48304 Are driveups still allowed to help people in need during COVID-19?

4/1/2020 10:51 AM 78 44691 Any known supplements to help fight off COVID-19

4/1/2020 11:05 AM 68 44691 When is my stimulus check arriving for COVID-19?

4/1/2020 11:45 AM 46 44691 Stimulus check for COVID-19 who gets it?

4/1/2020 1:45 PM 62 44691 Company not following guidelines for COVID-19

4/1/2020 2:00 PM 62 44281 Company not following guidelines for COVID-19

4/1/2020 2:53 PM 65 44691 Drive Amish to visit parents during COVID-19 is this allowed?

4/1/2020 3:05 PM 75 44667 Needs masks during COVID-19

4/1/2020 3:14 PM 29 44691 COVID-19 gloves and masks needed

4/1/2020 3:17 PM 73 44691 COVID-19 gloves and masks needed

4/1/2020 3:30 PM 64 44667 Company open during COVID-19- not sure they should be?

4/1/2020 3:55 PM 47 44230 COVID-19 Essential requirements?

4/1/2020 4:00 PM 54 44230 Laid off during COVID-19 need help with rent

The Joint Information Center was created in partnership with the Wayne County Health Department and Wayne County Emergency Management Agency. Community members can call for assistance M-F 8am – 8pm by dialing (330) 263-6363.

“Though this crisis has made us pivot from what we would normally be focused on, we are still able to, continue our mission driven work of mobilizing community resources by fundraising. We saw that a fund needed to be established in the community for COVID-19 relief in early March and have been working hard to raise those dollars.” continued Koglman, “With the help from our community, we have raised approximately $89,000 for COVID-19 relief. That fund received a huge boost on Friday when the Gessner Family Foundation made a gift of $50,000.00 for that fund, for that we are incredibly grateful.” said Koglman. The funds that UWWH has raised are already at work in the community. They have been used at the YMCA for scholarships for the pandemic childcare centers , Catholic Charities has received funding to assist the elderly or disabled who are encouraged to stay home, and a Rent/Mortgage relief assistance program for those who are out of work due to the crisis has been established at the Salvation Army-Wooster Corp..
In-kind donations have also been made to UWWH to assist in fighting the virus. Many local people and places have donated masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. Some of the donors include, but are not limited to: The College of Wooster, Mennonite Central Committee and Minglewood Distilling Company. The donations are going straight to front line workers in our community.
Through a partnership with Catholic Charities and Wayne Center for the Arts, UWWH will welcome Christian Aid Ministries of Berlin, Ohio to provide hot lunches on April 16-18th at the South Walnut location in Wooster.
UWWH is still asking citizens to consider a small gift in order to continue funding programs in the community run by our trusted partners. Any little bit helps lessen the burden on community members whose lives have changed in the matter of weeks. All funds stay local.
If you would like to help local non-profits with emergency funding due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please mail a check to United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties with C
OVID-19 in the memo line or visit:
Or text:COVID2020 to:44321


Carrolyn Salazar Staff

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