For 95 years, United Way of Olmsted County has been on the front lines of disaster response, delivering high-demand resources to communities in need throughout Olmsted County and providing individuals with personalized help in crisis situations by mobilizing partnerships that help keep families in their homes, food shelves stocked with staples and critical social services running.
Already, United Way has taken significant steps to address community needs during this time of unprecedented global crisis. By collaborating with local government, non-profit consortiums, community partners and corporations, United Way is tracking and filling resource gaps and providing real-time guidance, information and data on COVID-19 through the 211 network.
In addition to connecting people to the resources they need, United Way is working to mobilize individuals who want to support those impacted by efforts to contain COVID-19 via our Get Connected partner & volunteer portal.
WHAT WE CAN DO WHEN WE LIVE UNITED!
Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts, taken together across the community, can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges, and protect the most vulnerable. The health and safety of our community is a top priority for United Way of Olmsted County. We need your support, now more than ever, to help us serve those who will be impacted the worst by COVID-19.
You may have questions about how you can help. Here are five ways you can pitch in and make a diﬀerence in someone’s life.
HERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO FIGHT IN THE FACE OF COVID-19:
If you or someone you know needs help, or just looking for a source of reliable information of resources available, please tell them about United Way’s 211.
211 is a free and confidential service that connects thousands of local residents to help 24/7/365 in multiple languages. Residents across Minnesota can call 211 or 1(800)543-7709 for some cell phone providers, or visit www.211unitedway.org.
Each state across the United States runs their own 211 with information specific to each community across the state. If you see other numbers listed on social media, please remember to call the 211 number associated with your state.
To find information specific to your area: you can call 211, text your zip code to 898-211 or visit the website and chat with a specialist online at www.211.org
During times of crisis Minnesota 211:
- Leverages its existing communication infrastructure of statewide call coverage, a statewide database of over 40,000 resources to efficiently provide timely, relevant, and accurate information to callers.
- Credentialed staff provide live coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with multi-lingual access.
- Tracks and documents all requests for resources and services.
- Extends, augments, and supports other city, county, and state systems capacity, diverting unnecessary calls away from emergency responders.
- Provides an easy to remember number for immediate access to information anywhere in the state, reducing confusion and the need for a plethora of 800 numbers.
- Collaborates with other local and national information and referral programs and hotlines.
- Prioritizes accurate information by using its dedicated/full-time resource database team members to stay on top of ever-changing updates.
If you know someone who is struggling, or just looking for a source of reliable information, tell them to call 211 or 1(800)543-7709 for some cell phone carriers. Residents across Minnesota can call 211, text your zip code to 898-211 or visit our website and chat with a specialist online at www.211unitedway.org.
For information and updates specific to coronavirus, you can text MNCOVID to 898-211.
United Way of Olmsted County is coordinating with our community partners to support the anticipated needs as we all respond to the threat of the coronavirus via our volunteer portal Get Connected.
Many of our partners rely on retirees to volunteer with their organizations every day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our volunteer resources are unable to assist with their normal volunteer obligations.
We must stick together at this time of great need and vulnerability. To volunteer visit http://volunteer.uwolmsted.org/.
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 musical 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.
HELPFUL & RELIABLE RESOURCES
MN Dept. of Health COVID-19 Hotlines:
Health questions: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
Legal Services State Support is a non-profit organization that works with legal aid to improve access to justice for all Minnesotans. They are working diligently to educate and inform Minnesotans about how their housing, unemployment, and other legal rights are affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
PRINT FRIENDLY INFORMATION
Basic overview of COVID-19 in multiple languages.
Following guidelines set forth by Olmsted County Public Health, The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and others, the United Way office will be closed to the public effective Thursday, March 19 until further notice. All onsite meetings and conference room rentals have been canceled until further notice. While our physical space will be closed, United Way staff will continue to serve and support the community as able. Our essential operations will be handled via phone, internet, and other virtual means. If you need us, please reach out via phone or e-mail as you normally would, and we will assist you in any way possible. We will reach out again when operations are ready to return to normal. Please visit www.uwolmsted.org for up to date information about United Way, call 211 if you need assistance or if you’re looking for ways to help visit https://donate.onecause.com/united-we-fight-coronavirus/home or volunteer.uwolmsted.org.