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The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all. Our communities and local businesses open and close as the situation changes, but the financial and emotional challenges remain, especially for those who were already struggling. As a leader in the fight against poverty, The Salvation Army is keenly aware of our responsibilities to bring help and hope to those who are most vulnerable.
Ensuring the safety of those who depend on The Salvation Army’s programs and services, along with the safety of staff and volunteers, is our utmost priority. We are working with health officials at the local, state, and federal levels; following CDC recommendations for hygiene and disease prevention; and sharing best practices with staff, volunteers, and program participants in order to keep those in our care healthy and safe.
How we’ve adapted our regular programs to continue helping our neighbors in need during the pandemic.
Worship services and other programs at our individual corps community centers – such as after-school activities, open gym time, music lessons, and Bible studies – are available in person or online in accordance with city, state, and federal guidelines. Food pantries and other feeding programs remain open with modifications to ensure the health and safety of all.
Our congregate senior and community meals that were occurring daily or weekly are now providing meals in to-go boxes or working with food delivery as necessary.
We know that it is not just those who test positive for the coronavirus who are affected. The Salvation Army is prepared to offer long-term support to affected families and individuals as needed, including emergency assistance with mortgage/rent, utility bills, clothing, medication, and other needs for workers who have lost wages or employment due to COVID-19 closures and cancellations.
In our family shelters and other residential treatment facilities, close living conditions mean infectious disease can easily spread among residents. Additional cleaning throughout the day, with elevated focus on high-traffic areas, and sanitation supplies are part of every location’s infectious-disease protocol. If a resident or staff member gets sick, isolation/quarantine areas will be established, additional healthcare will be needed, and staff needs will increase. Visitors are discouraged.
In response to the rising levels of anxiety and uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Salvation Army launched an emotional and spiritual support hotline for people who just want to talk. The phone number is 877-740-8829. Staff are available 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., and counselors speak English and Spanish. Callers are encouraged to leave a message if they call during off hours.
Events such as a national conference, women’s camp, General’s Rally, civic luncheon, and holiday events have been cancelled out of an abundance of caution. Some Salvation Army programs and services will resume, as guidelines from the State of Illinois and City of Chicago allow.
Please check our website for local virtual event updates.
Our Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team has a standing seat on Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication. This means we were directly involved in helping the City plan and execute response effort.
At the height of the emergency response, we:
* Served as the Lead Agency on the City of Chicago's Feeding Task Force.
* Provided meals to individuals the City of Chicago identified as among the most vulnerable in quarantine or isolation.
* Provided meals, snacks, and hydration to the City of Chicago Emergency Operations Center and 311 operators, the Cook County Emergency Operations Center, the National Guard and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, the City’s overflow congregate shelters, and DuPage County’s first responder alternative housing.
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Become a volunteer to help local Coronavirus Response Efforts. All volunteer activities practice CDC safety guidelies.Volunteer Activities
To support The Salvation Army, a monetary donation ensures we can continue service delivery in your community. Financial contributions allow us to obtain food and supplies at a better cost in bulk, and they help us support businesses. Every dollar gives hope to those living in poverty during this pandemic.
If you're interested in making in-kind donations of non-perishable foods and supplies, please call 888-369-1349 to make arrangements.
The Salvation Army is on the front lines of COVID-19 relief efforts, serving those in need with a mask and a smile! These numbers reflect totals for Chicagoland, northern Illinois, and northwest Indiana from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic through August 31, 2020.
For divisional media queries, please contact:
Katie Heinz Pfingsten, Public Relations Manager
Office: 773-205-3531 | Mobile: 872-223-7951
Camerin Mattson, Divisional Communications Manager
Office: 773-205-3256 | Mobile: 630-707-9757
Jeff Robey, Divisional Director of Strategy & Outcomes
Office: 773-205-3254 | Mobile: 773-885-3433
For corporate partnerships, please contact:
Steven Hill, Corporate Leadership Gifts Representative