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COVID-19: How to Help

Posted: April 1 2020 at 06:19 PM
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The Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) in Chatham, Ill., is working with their many partners to meet the needs of disasters – and COVID19 is no exception. They’re currently working to get face masks to first responders and healthcare professionals, and then to other sectors who continue to be on the frontlines.

On March 25, MMDC volunteers delivered one thousand N-95 masks to the Sangamon and Menard County Fire and Rescue members. MMDC had a supply of these masks on hand for when they respond to floods and tornados around the Midwest. Most of these masks have been donated by members of United Methodist Churches in Illinois.

“We know flooding is right around the corner but we have people in crisis now and our goal is to get the supplies to people to need in a disaster as soon as possible in Christ's name,” said MMDC Executive Director Chantel Corrie.

Midwest Mission has also given masks to the Sangamon County Sherriff’s Department, Chatham Police Department and St. John’s ER. The police departments only had one mask per officer and some had none. The fire departments had little to no masks so we are providing enough for each first responder to have two.  

“Thank you so much for your donation – these make us feel much more at ease as we send our people out on calls,” stated Philip Schumer, Chatham Fire Chief.  

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Midwest Mission volunteers delivered hundreds of N45 masks to the Sangamon and Menard County Fire and Rescue members on March 25, 2020.

MMDC is also preparing parts of their warehouse to serve as a FEMA distribution center in Central Illinois and they've offered assistance to help transport supplies as needed.  “Just because COVID-19 is here doesn’t mean that other natural disasters stop either. We have had a tornado in Illinois last week. Flooding is occurring around the U.S., and our busy flood season in the Midwest is April and May," said Corrie. "MMDC also continues to serve the developing world with lifesaving hygiene and medical equipment. We are taking extreme measures to keep our inventory safe so that we can continue to ship to these countries with confidence."

The MMDC will not be taking missionaries or volunteers at this time and is relying on their very committed staff members.

“Our staff and their families are taking extra precautions at home and work to keep themselves and others healthy so that we can continue this vital work," Corrie added. 

Corrie says they need your help now more than ever. She asks for prayers for the MMDC staff and others who are working on the frontlines during this crisis. She says financial gifts are most appreciated.

“We have had to cancel all mission teams through April 12, yet we still have our normal overhead,” she said. “For every $1 donated to Midwest Mission in 2019, we sent out $6.33 of in-kind supplies. MMDC also is accepting donations of homemade mission items including sewn face masks, sewn feminine hygiene pads and plarn (plastic bag material) to make sleep mats. A list of kits, projects, and patterns to make at home are available on the MMDC’s website at midwestmission.org.

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Several NIC churches are also searching through their mission closets for extra supplies of face masks, goggles and gloves, and donating to hospitals and fire departments. Check your local hospital’s website for needed items or email the Illinois Department of Health at ppe.donations@illinois.gov to find areas in the most need of donations across the state.

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UMCOR donates needed supplies to first responders

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Needed supplies stored at the United Methodist Committee on Relief Sager Brown Depot are being distributed to first responders in Louisiana as part of the agency’s effort to help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Photo courtesy Amy Fuselier.

More than 80,000 masks in sealed and unopened cartons purchased for future use are being distributed to first responders serving communities near the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana.

“In normal times, United Methodists and friends of UMCOR make thousands of UMCOR relief supply kits,” said Thomas Kemper, general secretary of Global Ministries, which includes UMCOR. “Now, some of these kit supplies are being used to support and protect first responders on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.”

The director of the Sager Brown Depot Amy Fuselier said, “One never knows the impact an UMCOR kit, or its parts, will have on someone’s life. This donation is a great example of UMCOR’s efforts to address an immediate need and the impact of kit supplies being felt in unanticipated places.”

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Help Rosecrance serve the community by donating cloth masks

During these uncertain times, Rosecrance recognizes the need for its addiction and mental health treatment services is great. Because of that, our physical and virtual doors remain open to serve clients through outpatient and residential services. 

Rosecrance residential treatment sites for adolescents and adults continue to provide care, but with extra precautions in place. Infection control protocols and social distancing practices are in place, and we’re screening all clients and staff when they enter facilities and offices. 

Other services are taking advantage of technology to continue to meet needs through video and telephone chats. Individual, group, and family counseling has shifted online, as have community-based meetings such as 12-Step groups. 

How you can help Rosecrance

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Rosecrance chaplain Rev. Bill Lenters conducts his first spirituality group discussion via videoconference.

As always, thank you for supporting Rosecrance’s mission. Your philanthropic support is more important than ever today as we strive to sustain our services. And, a unique way to help is through the donation of cloth masks to supplement the use of surgical and medical-grade N95 masks worn by our physician and nursing staff. You can find patterns for masks by searching online.

The use of donated masks will help us in these ways:

  • Cloth masks may be worn over surgical masks or N95 masks by healthcare workers to extend the use of the specialty masks and prevent contamination by splashes or soiling.
  • Cloth mask use by staff or patients not at risk for splashes or soiling for minimal protection of penetration, but better than no mask at all.
  • Cloth mask use by staff, patients, or others to prevent touching mouth or nose with potentially contaminated fingers, the most common reason for COVID-19 transmission.

Donated masks may be sent to Rosecrance Health Network, 1021 N. Mulford Rd, Rockford, IL 61107, or dropped off between 8:30 – 11:30 am on Monday – Friday. Call 815.519.3568 for more info. 

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