The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund is proud to provide critical services and support in communities across the state. Thanks to the generosity of over 3,000 donors, ICRF has raised more than $30.5 million, more than half of which has already been distributed to 62 unique nonprofit organizations.

In its first three rounds of funding, the ICRF made $16.7 million in grants to local community foundations, United Ways, and direct service providers across the state to address basic needs of those especially vulnerable to COVID-19. ICRF has heard stories about the impact, which we are sharing in a new portal found here. These stories include:

A Mother-Daughter Duo in Will County are now able to provide health services to uninsured patients at the Bolingbrook Christian Health Center because of a regrant from the ICRF to the United Way of Will County. The mother, Rosa Chamorro, translates while her daughter, Rosario Chamorro (pictured on the right), screens patients in the parking lot, rain or shine. The team is now properly equipped with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and in just one week, has provided medical care to 74 patients in need.

A Grandmother in Kankakee County caring for three of her grandchildren, is receiving help with rental assistance through a grant to the Area Agencies on Aging in Illinois. She receives no child support from the parents, as they are not working due to the virus and not providing any support for the children. The grandmother uses her entire Social Security monthly check ($780) for electric, water and gas. The funds were able to assist her with two months ($1,550) rental assistance. The head of the social service agency helping said her fear was that if the grandmother did not get financial assistance quickly, she would become homeless and lose custody of her grandsons.

Blessings in a Backpack a program led by Renee Hart, known as "Mrs. Hart" by many, received an ICRF re-grant through the Galesburg Community Foundation to help increase the number of individuals and families receiveing emergency food in her hometown of Williamsfield, Illinois. The bags, filled with groceries from Ladds Grocery Store, are packed by volunteers and delivered by the Williamsfield School District. "We were ordering more food to feed more people and our financial resources were quickly dwindling as we operate on donations. I was getting very worried," said Mrs. Hart. "We knew we would need to serve more people in our community as we have many elderly residents who cannot go out at this time. We are now serving people of all ages and we range in families from 1 member to 10." What initially started as Blessing Bags for 20 school children, is now serving 52 families, or 125 people. "I don’t ever want any kiddo to go without food", said Mrs. Hart, and expressed her gratitude for the grant, noting that they now "don’t have to worry as much about how we will continue purchasing the needed food."

On May 20th, Children's Home & Aid's Jerri Hoffman Child + Family Center Hosted a Grab and Go Event for Children and Families in the Carpentersville community area. A total of 146 families impacted by hardships from the COVID-19 crisis were able to get food, household supplies, and education materials for their children at the event, including age-appropriate books, worksheets, and puzzles. The Family Center continues to focus on the physical, emotional, and cognitive growth of the State’s most vulnerable children, and prioritizes those who have adolescent parents, are victims of abuse and neglect, and/or live in the lowest income households.

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