COVID-19 Resources

The recently passed CARES act created a $300 "nonitemizer" federal tax deduction for 2020. Please consider donating to UWNEMN's COVID-19 Crisis Fund to support local agencies & UWNEMN programs that are providing immediate assistance to individuals and families affected by this pandemic. 
Click here for more information.

United Way of Northeastern Minnesota's response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The COVID-19 pandemic affects every one of UWNEMN's Focus Areas: helping children succeed, empowering healthy lives, and stabilizing families and individuals. Our staff is hard at work to respond to this crisis in a thoughtful, responsible way. We are monitoring the situation closely and staying in regular contact with our schools, agencies, and other community partners to continue to be a resource to you.

Communication is key in times of uncertainty like this. Please check back to this page often as details are changing rapidly given the fluid nature of the situation. 

The resources on this page are available to you no matter where you live in UWNEMN's service territory.

Scroll through for updates, or jump to a section using the links below:

UWNEMN EVENT UPDATES
UWNEMN PROGRAM UPDATES
UWNEMN AGENCY UPDATES
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - FOOD
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - CHILDCARE
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - EDUCATION
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - HEALTH
COMMUNITY RESOURCES - OTHER

UWNEMN EVENT UPDATES

  • April 17-19 Women Veterans' Retreat at The Lodge at Giants Ridge has been canceled. If you registered for this event and have not been contacted about a refund, please contact erin@unitedwaynemn.org.
  • April 23rd Flavor of the North at Range Recreation Civic Center is postponed. A new date is to be determined. UWNEMN will issue refunds for anyone who registered for the April 23rd date and is unable to attend when the new date is announced. 
  • May 13th Bull Ride for the Brave Cash Raffle Drawing Party is postponed. TICKETS ARE STILL ON SALE. Call 218-215-2422 for more information. All proceeds directly benefit local veterans through UWNEMN's United for Veterans program. 
  • May 15th Bull Ride for the Brave event is canceled. If you bought a ticket and have not been contacted about a refund, please contact erin@unitedwaynemn.org.
  • Other event announcements - cancellations, postponements, and/or new digital events - will be posted here as well as individual event tabs on our web site.

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UWNEMN PROGRAM UPDATES

  • All children enrolled in Buddy Backpacks will continue to receive them. UWNEMN is unable to host volunteers to pack Buddy Backpacks at this time, but our staff will continue to pack meal kits for the foreseeable future.
  • Comforts of Home is currently unable to accommodate in-person appointments. If families or individuals in crisis are in need of home goods, referring agencies or caseworkers can email katy@unitedwaynemn.org to arrange for UWNEMN staff to pack requested items for clients that can be made available for pick-up. If families or individuals would prefer to wait for in-person appointments to resume, email katy@unitedwaynemn.org to get on a wait list for when the program resumes as normal.
  • Imagination Library will continue to mail books directly to children's homes on a monthly basis. If you have a child under 5 who is not enrolled in this program, this may be a good time to enroll them; click here to do soPlease keep in mind it takes 6-8 weeks for the first book to arrive. For the next 10 weeks, Dolly Parton will be reading a story from her Imagination Library every Thursday at 6 pm in an effort to comfort and reassure children during the shelter-in-place mandates. Click here for more.
  • The Lunch Buddies pilot mentoring program is on hiatus until schools re-open.
  • Smiles United dental program is suspended until April 13. 

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - FOOD

  • All Super One stores ask that the public allow the first hour of sevice to be the shopping hour for the elderly, immunocompromised, healthcare staff, and first responders. 
  • All Dollar General stores have dedicated their first hour of operations strictly to senior customers so they can purchase items when shelves are stocked and cleaned and avoid crowds. Stores ask other customers to plan shopping trips around that window of time.
  • Local schools have confirmed with UWNEMN staff that they intend to provide meals to children who rely on them while school is closed. If you have questions, contact your child's school directly for specific procedures.
  • For Iron Range resources, click here.
  • For Koochiching County resources, click here.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - CHILDCARE

  • The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations have created an Emergency Child Care Grant Program to provide immediate financial support to licensed child care providers in Greater Minnesota. Applicants must be a licensed family- or center-based child care provider, be located within a Greater Minnesota community, and serve children of essential and emergency workers. Click here for more information.
  • For questions about school closures and childcare, contact the state information hotline between 7 am and 7 pm: 1-800-657-3504.
  • Local schools will provide childcare for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers, including grocery store staff  during previously planned school days. Please contact your local school for more information.
  • For Iron Range resources, click here.
  • For Koochiching County resources, click here.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - EDUCATION

  • For questions about school closures, contact the state information hotline between 7 am and 7 pm: 1-800-657-3504.
  • For free Imagination Library activities for children at home, click here.
  • Scholastic is providing free grade-level-specific activities online for children while schools are closed - click here.
  • For a list of education companies offering free subscriptions during school closures, click here.
  • For Koochiching County resources, click here.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - HEALTH

  • MNsure is offering a special enrollment period (3/23 - 4/21) for eligible Minnesotans who do not have health insurance. Click here for more information 
  • Click here for a list of mental health resourced during this time of self isolation from Mental Health Minnesota. 
  • American Red Cross Minnesota is facing a severe blood shortage due to blood drives being canceled across the country. Red Cross has implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of their donors and staff; if you're healthy and able, please consider scheduling a blood or platelets donation. To make an appointment, calll 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or click hereRed Cross offices in MN are closed, and free smoke detector instalation is temporarily suspended. Those in crisis can still reach Red Cross staff in our region by calling 218-722-0071. All disaster response services remain in place and available to those impacted by disasters such as home fires or spring flooding.
  • For Iron Range resources, click here.
  • For Koochiching County resources, click here.

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COMMUNITY RESOURCES - OTHER

  • If you are unable to work, have had hours reduced, or have lost your job as a result of this pandemic, you can apply for unemployment benefits. Click here for more information
  • The Small Business Association is working on disaster relief assistance for small business owners impacted by COVID-19. For more information, contact deed.mnsbao@statemn.us
  • USDA is warning of SNAP scams arising to steal confidential information like social seccurity numbers, bank information, or PIN numbers in order to qualify for COVID-19-related assistance. If you are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, call 1-800-657-3698. For a list of current potential scams, click here. If you belive you are the victim of identity theft, contact your local police department; you may also file a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by clicking here.
  • Local banks have largely closed their lobbies and are operating their drive throughs only. Call your local bank if you need to speak with a banker or make an appointment.
  • Many utilities, telecommuncations companies, and automakers are easing shutoffs and waiving late fees to accomodate customers who may be struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for a list of cable, utility, and other providers taking action.
  • Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans' Duluth office is currently open for walk-ins for veterans without access to phones or compouters on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you are able to reach out from a phone or computer, please call 1-833-222-6228 or email mac-v@mac-v.org.
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services continues to run the Telephone Equipment Distribution program (TED), which provides telephone/telecommunication equipment to eligible Minnesotans at no charge. They continue advocacy and consultation for those with hearing loss as well as workplaces unsure of how to make communication accessible and also provide FREE mental health counseling to anyone in MN with a hearing loss. Click here for more information.
  • For Iron Range resources, click here.
  • For Koochiching County resources, click here.

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Please remember, if you are ever in need of help, the 24-hour United Way 2-1-1 line is available to help you find local resources that best fit your needs. (Call 2-1-1 or visit www.211unitedway.org for more information.)

UWNEMN's mission is "to unite and focus our communities in creating measurable results to improve people's lives and strengthen our families." This unity and focus is needed now more than ever. Please practice patience, thoughtfulness, and preventive measures in the days and weeks to come to keep yourselves, your families, and your neighbors healthy and safe.