U-46 United aims to support families in need
The U-46 Educational Foundation has launched an online fundraiser to support the most vulnerable families within the Elgin Area School District U-46 community and to make sure they have the supplies needed to support their household and families during this unprecedented time.
The foundation, a charitable nonprofit 501(c)3 dedicated solely to supporting U-46 students, teachers and schools, aims to generate funds for family needs during this pandemic, starting with household cleaning and personal hygiene items. The fundraiser at u-46educationalfoundation.salsalabs.org/u46united/index.html also allows donors to raise funds through a social media campaign.
Foundation supporters, community members, parents, clubs, and teams are being asked to support the U-46 community by making a small contribution to the "U-46 United" campaign.
Contributors are encouraged to work together as teams to raise funds and to spread the campaign through their own social networks.
"There is a strong sense of community within our schools," said Foundation President Bud Wilson. "We have seen time and time again that U-46 families look out for each other and take care of each other, and nobody wants to see a family struggle during this crisis. If we can help each other, we will."
Initially, the foundation will add care kits filled with soap, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry and dish detergent, and other household products, to the district's meal distribution sites in an effort to keep households running during this pandemic.
As other needs are identified and donors become available, the foundation will aim to support those additional resources and services.
The U-46 Educational Foundation has jump started the campaign with a $5,000 grant to add care packages to the district's meal distribution program as quickly as possible.
Wilson noted, "We know that a family in need can't wait a week for our fundraiser to pick up steam, so the Foundation is going to make sure there are funds available immediately."
People wishing to contribute to the U-46 Educational Foundation's "U-46 United" campaign, can visit the Foundation's webpage at www.u-46.org/Foundation and click on the "U-46 United- COVID Relief" link or click on the "How to Help" link from the district's COVID-19 website at www.u-46.org/covid.
U-46 -- through its Food and Nutrition Department and school administrators -- are continuing to make daily prepackaged meals available for pick up at 26 schools across the district.
The meal distribution runs from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for families to pickup bags that include free packaged meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack) for all children under 18. No paperwork needed, no questions asked.
District staff members distributed more than 76,000 meals last week during the first week of school closure. Food distribution has continued during the spring break, the week of March 23, and will continue until school resumes. For a list of sites and more information, visit www.u-46.org/food-distribution on the district's COVID-19 webpage.
Students in needSixty-one percent of Elgin Area School District U-46 students come from low-income families, as compared to the state average of 49 percent. To be designated as "low-income," a student must either be receiving public aid, living in substitute care, or living in a household with an annual income less than $46,435 ($893 per week) for a family of four.