Now more than ever, it is clear that we are all stronger when we live united. Challenging times are what United Way is built for as we find the gaps and fill the needs. Because of the caring power of our region, we are able to persevere together.

With the onset of COVID-19, Greater Mankato Area United Way has been a unifying force in our region, bringing together volunteers, in-kind donors, community partners and resources. We continue to do our same work of connecting people and organizations to resources, being the balancer of the region, and addressing emergency needs—all on a larger and more urgent scale.

I extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has reached out and asked how they can help.

The following is helpful information and updates about how to get involved. All links are found on the Greater Mankato Area United Way website at www.MankatoUnitedWay.org/covid-19.

Volunteering and Needed Items:

Visit www.MankatoUnitedWay.org/needs to view an ongoing, centralized list of emergency needs of regional organizations. Nonprofits are taking care to ensure volunteer safety. The webpage also includes needed in-kind items. Organizations can contact United Way at 507-345-4551 to submit their needs.

Step Up to Sit

Greater Mankato Area United Way recently launched the Mankato area branch for Step Up to SIT, a project aimed at matching healthcare and essential workers with child care.

We have received an overwhelming response from generous community members willing to help. Babysitters participating in Step Up to SIT can volunteer their time or request to be paid. To sign up as a sitter or a parent in need of services, visit www.StepUpToSit.com/signup and choose the Mankato region.

Community Response Fund

In March, Greater Mankato Area United Way launched the Community Response Fund in partnership with the Mankato Area Foundation. The goal of this fund is to quickly address emergency needs of community organizations serving people during this crisis.

As of May 5, grant distributions totaled more than $130,000. Recipients include Beyond Brink, Connections Shelter, Feeding Every Baby, Maple River Loaves & Fishes Food Shelf, Open Door Health Center, Waseca Area Neighborhood Service Center and more.

One hundred percent of all donations go directly to the fund. To learn more, donate or apply, please visit www.MankatoUnitedWay.org/community-response-fund. You can also call our office at 507-345-4551.

211 Helpline

United Way’s 211 helpline provides callers with information on area resources. Residents across Minnesota can call 211, text zip code to 898211 or visit the website/chat at www.211unitedway.org. For information and updates specific to coronavirus, text MNCOVID to 898211. Organizations should update 211 with their current information.

Thank you for your support to keep our region strong and balanced during this time. Please do not hesitate to contact Greater Mankato Area United Way with your questions at 507-345-4551.

Barb Kaus is CEO of Greater Mankato Area United Way, which covers Le Sueur, Nicollet, Waseca and Blue Earth counties.

Load comments