How to Help

The outpouring of kindness and generosity I have witnessed during this public health emergency is nothing short of incredible. From our health care workers to first responders to grocery store workers, so many of our friends and neighbors have risen to the occasion. While this is not a time to ignore the stay-at-home order, there are things you can do right now to assist.

 

 

Stay at home

If you want to help in these difficult times, the first step is following the Governor’s stay-at-home order: unless there’s an essential activity that would cause you to leave - like picking up food for your family or a neighbor who cannot get out of the house - you and your community will be safer if you stay home. 

Volunteer

Please do not use this as a free pass to violate the Stay at Home order. This is an opportunity for healthy college students looking for something to do or individuals who aren’t able to work from home o an opportunity for people who are healthy and looking to help.

For individuals who are healthy and in a low-risk group, register on the Serve Illinois website and the organization will connect you with opportunities based on their needs.

For individuals who would like to donate personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection you can reach out to PPE.donations@IL.gov

Right now, the State of Illinois is looking for the following donations: 

  • Masks:

    • N-95

    • Earloop

    • Surgical

  • Gowns:

    • Isolation

    • Non-Descript

  • Gloves:

    • Nitrile

    • Sterile

    • Surgical

  • Eye Protection:

    • Face Shields

    • Goggles

  • Infection Control Kits

  • Hand Sanitizer (any size)

  • Disinfectant Wipes (any size)

  • Thermometers (forehead only)

All items should be in the manufacturer's original packaging and unopened. The State of Illinois cannot accept open products or homemade items. Our office recommends you contact local first responders (Police, Fire, EMS) to see if they can accept those items.

If you have a donation, please email ppe.donations@illinois.gov with quantities of each donation item and home address.

As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, the American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus pandemic. There is no evidence that respiratory viruses can be transmitted through a blood donation or transfusion. Donating blood does not weaken the immune system. Red Cross has taken extra steps to ensure the safety of donors and staff

The American Red Cross is encouraging healthy, eligible individuals to donate now. To find a blood drive or volunteer, visit: www.RedCross.org

Childcare

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD), in partnership with the Illinois Departments of Human Services (IDHS) and Children and Family Services (IDCFS), has established a structure and system for child care providers to apply for an emergency child care license to provide care for essential workers. 

On Friday, March 20, 2020, all child care programs were closed. Where possible, children should be kept at home. However, this may not be an option for essential workers. For child care providers who want to offer emergency care to essential workers or qualified individuals who want to volunteer to support emergency child care, you can visit the GOECD website here

For essential workers seeking child care, the GOECD has set up a dedicated helpline so Child Care Resources and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential worker families to emergy child care. Call toll-free (888) 228-1146.

For families seeking information about child care closures and emergency child care, please see this letter from the Governor’s office.