United Way to aid Houston County

United Way to aid Houston County

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Great Rivers United Way has established a fund to help Houston County residents whose income will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund is a local partnership between Great Rivers United Way, Merchants Bank in La Crescent, Caledonia and Spring Grove, as well as generous business, government and individual supporters.

The Houston County Emergency Response Fund’s first priority will be to provide funding to Houston County charitable organizations that already offer direct services to its targeted populations. The aim is to help people hardest hit by reduced and lost work resulting from pandemic-related closures.

“We recognize it’s too soon to know the full impact of coronavirus on our county, but we do know needs will increase in the days, weeks and months ahead,” said Mary Kay Wolf, executive director of Great Rivers United Way. “We’d like to help our community be as prepared as possible, proactively.”

Fundraising is underway to grow the fund and will continue throughout the outbreak and recovery. For more information or to contribute online, visit www.gruw.org/covid19. You may also text HOUSTON to 40403 to donate.

Donations may also be made in person via the Merchants Bank drive-throughs listed below, or by mail at any of the addresses below. Please make checks payable to Great Rivers United Way and write “Houston County Emergency Response Fund” on the notes line.

  • Merchants Bank Attn: Houston County ERF 316 Main St. La Crescent, MN 55947 .
  • Merchants Bank Attn: Houston County ERF 1 S. Sprague St. Caledonia, MN 55921
  • Merchants Bank Attn: Houston County ERF 126 W. Main St. Spring Grove, MN 55974
  • Great Rivers United Way Attn: Houston County ERF 1855 E. Main St. Onalaska, WI 54650

“Nobody anticipated this kind of immediate and urgent need last fall when Great Rivers United Way ran its annual fundraising efforts,” Wolf said. “At this point, the community needs every combined effort to take care of our neighbors who are being impacted.”

The fund will support and enhance any government assistance provided. Fund distributions will be released on a rolling basis to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs, she said.

The application Houston County agencies will use to request funds will be available once the first online donations come in.

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