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Real Life

And so it is done

And so it is done, for now…

I knew we’d get here and I thought I’d feel great and proud of what we’ve done at United Way during the COVID19 crisis.  I do feel great and proud of what we’ve done and I feel profoundly sad that we have exhausted the funding for the COVID19 relief.  There are still places to go for help and we all need to do what we can to make sure the word gets out for folks.

Why?  Because we’re not to the really hard part yet.  Many companies are still using CARES Act funding to keep payroll going and many individuals still haven’t received their unemployment.  And there will be more layoffs.  Our businesses can’t keep opening and closing and/or being limited to a minimum amount of customers.  We need to take needed precautions and take care of one another.

There are thousands of dollars available for rent relief and utility assistance.  Please make sure you know where to send folks to get on lists for help.  And it takes time.  Immediate relief isn’t always immediate.  Here are places to call for help:

•             211 – for information and referral resources

•             Access – 541.779.6691

•             Ashland Resource Center – 541.631.2235

•             Housing Authority (only if tenant) – 541.779.5785

•             Mercy’s Gate – 541.601.6190

•             St. Vincent de Paul – 541.772.3828

United Way has raised $386,468 and we have spent $386,912.  Yes, we went over a little.  And we had to stop.  For now.  We have helped 1,097 individuals and families and 42 agencies who helped countless more.  Each one of these folks is a story.  A story of hard work, seeking assistance often for the first time, of having worked in a service economy getting by until they weren’t:  a mom with kids who made tamales to support her family has doubled up with her sister and her kids and still can’t get by; a woman who worked three jobs, not just one, to get by and had never asked for help before; too many dealing with violence in their lives or hunger or confusion or loss; and, the man who needed his rent assistance check reissued because the first one was stolen from a mailbox in Ashland and now is being held as evidence in California.  Even the California State Police called to verify that it wasn’t going to be cashed.  Here’s how the money was spent :

Nonprofit Capacity18,470
Mental Health8,000
Transitional Housing3,000
DV Exit1,000
Baby Supplies736
Business License200
Property Taxes136
Drivers’ Licenses120
DNA Test100
Birth Certificate43

As the system falls apart, we have to follow the thread or find the thread.  Years ago, one of my sisters was awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant and one of the coolest people I’ve ever met told me a story of growing in the Philippines.  Her name was Tuesday and she shared, on one especially hard day, that in the Philippines during typhoons, children were roped to trees to help save their lives.  And she shared that old wisdom about the knot at the end of the rope, there’s no knot.  Right now, there’s no knot.  Tuesday was right.

We can and will work together to create change in how we serve people in need.  There are many great efforts underway.  Be part of the solution.  Now.

The Way it Is, William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among

things that change. But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

In closing, here’s the gratitude from last week and today…

Oh, thank you very much!!! I’m so grateful to you and to those who are donating funds to help.

Thank you. Brenda

Thank you so much from all of us. Know that I’ll put back in 2 keep the cycle going when I’m able 2. I appreciate it God bless.  Justin

Thank you so much. For your help and I am forever so grateful. Vanessa

Thank you so much!   You are a life saver!  Vicky

I really want to thank you so much!  You have really made a difference.  I so really appreciate your help!  Thank you so much, Thomas

Thank you so much! I appreciate a million tons.  Kyleigh