UWNEMN, like many others in the region, is closely monitoring the COVID-19 Pandemic, and we are assessing all our current programs and events in the face of health concerns surrounding the virus.
In regards to our school-based programs, we are following suit with our local schools and looking to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) for guidance.
As of right now, the MDH and MDE are not calling for a closure of schools. So long as our local schools stay open, we will continue to hold Lunch Buddy mentoring sessions, send Buddy Backpacks, and operate Smiles United. We are reviewing how to best respond should schools close, but for the time being we are focused on continuing to provide these much needed programs and services to our local children. While these programs operate, we are taking all proper precautions, including ensuring shared materials are disinfected and providing hand washing stations - or antibacterial hand wipes when soap and water aren't easily accessible.
We are currently considering options for our upcoming events, including postponements, cancellations, and/or new digital events. Stay tuned for announcements on these events as time goes on.
Communication is key in times of uncertainty like this. We continue to work with our agencies and other community partners to be a resource for you, and we will continue to keep you updated via social media, email blasts, and our local news.
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.