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United Way of Portage COVID-19 Community Relief Fund

As COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to spread in the U.S. and across the globe, we wanted to take a moment and let you know what United Way of Portage County is doing to respond.  Our number one concern is the safety of our team, our local United Way partner agencies, families, and the communities we all serve.

We are staying on top of local, national, and international guidelines (including the CDC and WHO) to tailor our response as the situation changes. We understand our critical role in coordinating response.  Official, up-to-date, and practical information on the COVID-19 outbreak can be found on dedicated pages maintained by the CDC, the Ohio Department of Health, Portage County Health District

Nonprofit leaders should also take a moment and focus on three primary dimensions related to navigating this issue, as well as any future issue, that threatens to disrupt our vital work: employees, stakeholders, and the organization. Please consider each of these dimensions and start taking action now to engage your team in mitigating personal and business risks.  Regardless of the outcome of this public health issue, a plan for reacting to unplanned, continuity-disrupting situations is something that every nonprofit leader should have.

The top-line considerations for each dimension are:           
  • Ensuring that employees know how to care for themselves, understand your employer policies, and feel comfortable and safe taking steps for their well-being.
  • Ensuring that stakeholders (audiences, beneficiaries, participants, volunteers, etc.) have the resources they need to navigate risk while engaging in your programs and services; and
  • Navigating severe business disruptions that may impact finances

For us, there is much to consider: as employers, mission-driven service providers, and businesses. As leaders, we owe it to everyone who counts on us to take a moment and consider how a potentially disruptive force could impact the organization in all three dimensions.

To help in carrying out your planning efforts, here is a list of resources we’ve found helpful:

•    COVID-19 Informational Power Point (Portage County Health District)
•    COVID-19, Cold or Flu Knowing the Difference (Portage County Health District)
•    COVID-19 Are You at Risk? (Portage County Health District)
•    Print-friendly “What to know” information sheet (Infectious Disease Society of America)
•    Official U.S. overview, updates, and self-care for COVID-19 (CDC)
•    International travel advisories (U.S. State Dept.)
•    For K-12, higher education, and childcare: Resources and information for schools and school personnel  (U.S. Dept. of Education)
•    COVID-19 information and commentary for employers (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
•    Cleaning products approved for fighting COVID-19 (EPA)
•    Crisis communication plan template (CDC)

United Way will continue to provide resources, updates, and recommendations as they become available. As always, please reach out to us if we can be of help to you or your staff.  Many thanks for all you do.