MONTICELLO, IN - The COVID-19 pandemic is a burden we all carry on our backs. It’s oppressive and overwhelming, and we can’t ignore it. For some people that weight manifests itself as physical ailments, but, for others, it lurks in a space that we can’t actually see. For those people their mental and emotional damage is as painful as a broken leg or an injured hand. They need just as much help healing themselves as someone with a visible injury would. That’s why, in addition to focusing on groups who assist with physical well-being, the United Way awarded funds to several nonprofits who prioritized the invisible illnesses that our community is dealing with.
The Food Finders Food Bank initiated The Senior Grocery program in White County. Food insecurity rates have increased, and Indiana’s senior food insecurity rate is higher than the national average. FFFB’s Senior Grocery program provides a box of healthy and nutritious food each month to seniors.
CDC Resources, Inc. received funding to help pay for meaningful and helpful technology for the Intellectual and Developmentally Disabled adults served by their Day Service Programs in Monticello and Rensselaer. The technology enables those with disabilities to connect and engage with others, which strengthens their social relationships. Social isolation is a terrible feeling, and distancing during this pandemic has forced many of us to confront that head-on. Smart devices allow us to connect with others when we can’t physically be around them, and CDC recognizes the importance of staying connected.
Therapeion Therapeutic Riding Center provides equine assisted programs for persons with disabilities and families in the Child Protective Services system. They received funding to maintain their current programs, which focus on individuals with cognitive, physical, emotional, and behavioral disabilities. Their mission is to facilitate the healing of body and spirit through interaction with horses. They emphasize the power of respect, compassion, and love for oneself and others.
The Ralph & Lillian Fendig Summer Theatre for Children Inc. received funding to pay for the transition of their summer theatre productions to yearlong programming. Much like CDC using smart devices for communication, Fendig Theatre used virtual programming to connect children with other peers so they could actively and safely participate in activities together. Participants shared that they felt trapped and alone in their homes, and this program gave them a desperately needed social/creative outlet. The organization plans to continue virtual and in-person programming for the foreseeable future, and they hope to have an even greater positive impact on children during this next stage.
The Community Relief Fund was created to first assist any non-profit social service organization serving White, Jasper, or Pulaski counties that may be suffering the immediate physical, social, mental, and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Relief Fund is a sponsored project of Indiana United Ways with funding provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.
Applications for July are still being accepted at this time; however, the CRF program is drawing to a close. White County United Way would like to remind all applicants that the last day to submit a CRF application will be July 10, 2021 at midnight. If you are interested in applying for assistance from the Community Relief Fund you should visit the CRF tab on White County United Way’s homepage, and scroll to the bottom to download an application.
Organizations with 501(c)3 status may apply, but agencies with other designations must call before applying. For additional information please contact the White County United Way Executive Director Nikie Jenkinson through email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (574) 583-6544. If you or someone you love would like to speak to a Mental Health Navigator please call: (765) 742-1800
Jordan Day has been with the United Way since May 2020, and is currently working as a Social Media Consultant for WCUW.