The novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is being monitored nationally and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is providing updated information as it becomes available.
Click the tabs below to learn more about how you can help, available resources, and what United Way is doing to support the community.
Five Things You Can Do to Help During COVID-19
When you feel the most helpless, you actually have the power to do the most good.
As we move into social distancing and self-quarantine, it's natural to feel isolated. Staying away from other people, though necessary, doesn't fulfill our need to take action, to do something in the face of this crisis.
Here are five things you can do to help during COVID-19:
- Donate to the United We Care Emergency Relief Fund.Your gift supports community resources that serves struggling families in North Central Florida. Workers are losing wages and tips due to event cancellations and business closures. Kids who rely on free- and reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school risk going hungry. As food pantries and other community resources are inundated, donations to the United We Care Emergency Relief Fund helps ensure these vital relief services stay open and accessible. Donate here.
- Direct people to 211 United Way of North Central Florida's 211 is working on the front lines of the pandemic. Expert 211 specialists provide real-time information on social services and other resource to those in need. If you know someone who is struggling, or just looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to call 211 or (352) 332-4636, or text your zip code to 898-211.
- Spare something for the food pantries. As stores run out of bulk food and toiletries, food pantries are struggling to fill their shelves, even as more people are coming in. Consider donating what you can spare, especially non-perishable food and toiletry items. You can call 211 to find out what our local food pantries need most and where to drop off donations.
- Call your friends and family. Loneliness is as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Even during isolation, modern technology allows us to stay connected. Checking in on friends and family is more than polite right now, it's essential. And don't forget elderly neighbors or others living alone.
- Take care of your mental health. If you're stuck at home, keep busy with hobbies, try out arts and crafts, pick up an old instrument, organize family game nights and step outside for fresh air and exercise. You can't take care of others unless you take care of yourself.
Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts, taken together across the country, can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges, and protect the most vulnerable.
To learn more and view the latest information about COVID-19, visit cdc.gov
Florida Department of Health:
- Alachua County: (352) 334-7900
- Bradford County: (904) 964-7732
- Dixie: (352) 498-1360
- Gilchrist: (352) 463-3120
- Levy: (352) 486-5300
- Union: (386) 496-3211
Resources for Grade-School Students:
2-1-1 Helpline (Due to COVID-19, you may experience longer call wait times.)
United We Care Emergency Relief Fund
At the onsite of the pandemic, United Way has been raising funds to help support the community. To date, we have awarded $198,474 to 17 of our nonprofit Community Impact Partners to help provide individuals and families with assistance for rent, utilities, food, toiletries, gas, Internet (for households with children needing access for schools), prescriptions, and childcare for first responders and healthcare workers.
The below nonprofits have received United We Care funds:
- ACORN Clinic
- AMIKids Gainesville
- Child Advocacy Center
- Catholic Charities
- Early Learning Coalition
- Episcopal Children's Services
- Family Promise
- GACTA - Aces in Motion
- Gainesville Opportunity Center
- Kids Count in Alachua County
- Lazarus Restoration Ministries
- PACE Center for Girls
- Peaceful Paths
- Partnership for Strong Families
- Project YouthBuild
- St. Francis House
- The Education Foundation
Click here to make a contribution to the United We Care fund today!
Thank you to everyone who has donated and to the following organizations: