On Friday FOX4 will feature Goodwill of Western Missouri & Eastern Kansas. Goodwill serves hundreds of job seekers in our local community who are seeking an opportunity for employment. Many of these individuals face some type of barrier to employment including having a disability, a history of substance abuse, or experiencing homelessness.
The COVID-19 situation has had a major impact on the 126-year-old organization. All 14 area Goodwill retail stores and donations centers have been temporarily closed as of March 21st, and the agency has had to furlough more than 75% of its employees due to the loss of retail revenue.
During this health crisis, the remaining staff are working tirelessly to provide virtual employment support services via phone, text, email, and video conferencing. The Goodwill workforce development team is assisting individuals with online job applications, resumes, job leads, and retention support. In addition, they are now assisting with the explanation of unemployment claims, how to file taxes in order to receive stimulus dollars, and providing connections to banks offering free checking accounts and resource lists for food and shelter options. To access assistance, you can call (816) 842-7425.
Goodwill is also collecting and repurposing retail donations for COVID-19 community relief. To see Fox4’s report on how Goodwill is supporting local healthcare workers during the pandemic, click here.
How can you help?
Monetary donations will be used for these services and to bring furloughed employees back to work to assist the ever-increasing number of unemployed job seekers in our community. Click on this link for more information about donating.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This week, FOX4 is showcasing difference-making nonprofits in our community, and Monday’s organization is the American Red Cross, which is in need of blood and volunteers.
Thanks to the many who gave blood and scheduled upcoming appointments, the American Red Cross has been able to meet immediate patient needs.
During this uncertain time, the Red Cross is encouraging donors to keep scheduled appointments, and to make new blood donation appointments for the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply throughout this pandemic.
There remains an ongoing need for platelet donations due to their short, five-day shelf life. Blood cannot be stockpiled. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. To ensure the health of employees, volunteers and staff, precautions include:
- Checking temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
- Following social distancing between donors including entry, donation and refreshment areas.
- Routinely disinfecting surfaces, equipment and donor-touched areas.
- Wearing gloves, and changing gloves often.
- Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.
- Staff wearing basic face masks.
The Red Cross’ need for volunteers is constant and continues to evolve. Volunteer opportunities include supporting blood donations and delivering much-needed disaster services to your community. The Red Cross also provides a wide variety of remote (work-from-home) opportunities available.
If you’re interested in volunteering, visit this link or email RecruitMOAR@redcross.org
On Tuesday we’ll feature the Salvation Army. If you want to donate to its cause, you can visit this link. You can also donate by sending a check to: The Salvation Army PO Box 412577 Kansas City, MO 64141-2577.
Here are the services it is currently providing: Food pantry assistance, emergency assistance in the form of rent and utility bill payments.
There are feeding programs division-wide. There are 50-75 people receiving food five days a week with bag lunches at the Beacon of Hope Cafe at the Eastside corps. The Salvation Army is feeding 80-90 people three nights a week with Honk ‘n Holler canteen on the streets of Kansas City.
Independence Corps served as feeding site for Independence School District, and deliver approximately 80 meals a day at the Hocker Height Apartments in Independence.
The Lawrence Corps is offering bagged lunches three days a week in downtown Lawrence. The Topeka Corps is providing weekday delivery of lunches to three apartment complexes in the city.
Olathe and Independence Shelters providing nightly dinners for all residents.
An Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline has people ready to listen to anyone needing to vent, laugh, cry, or pray during this crisis.
Here are other Salvation Army resources in cities near Kansas City.
On Wednesday, FOX4 is featuring the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition.
The consequences of the crisis and the new normal of physical distancing inevitably can take a toll on mental health. People may be experiencing anxiety, stress, or other difficulties and looking for effective ways to cope. The Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition, based and staffed by Jewish Family Services, continues to collaborate providing cross-sector agency support, engagement, services and education.
- GKCMHC includes 32 community agencies in both Kansas & Missouri. The agencies are highlighted on the itsok.us webpage where you can access their specific resources. These partner agencies provide various levels of services and support in the mental health arena for thousands in the metro area.
- GKCMHC’s collaborates across Kansas City metro area agencies to support, engage and provide essential human services for people facing challenges in everyday life or times of crisis-regardless of faith, age, culture or lifestyle.
- While GKCMHC as an organization does not provide direct services to individuals, Jewish Family Services (GKCMHC host organization) does have wrap-around services for families and individuals, including counseling, food pantry and social work. For additional information about how JFS can support your needs, contact JFS Navigator at 913-327-8250.
The GKCMHC also shares programming and upcoming events that are promoted across agencies providing a wide variety of experiences to best meet individual needs. GKCMHC is open to human service agencies throughout the Kansas City Metro area; please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join our efforts. Financial support for GKCMHC can be made at itsok.us/donate/.
On Thursday FOX4 will feature Hope House, a domestic violence agency that provides emergency shelter, as well as an array of comprehensive services including those that are not in need of emergency shelter services.
Hope House serves victims of domestic violence by providing emergency shelter and comprehensive outreach services including court and hospital advocacy, a safe visitation center, case management and therapy services for adults and children.
Hope House has found that there is a great need for its services during the coronavirus pandemic. They know that in crisis and troubled economic times domestic violence increases. This pandemic has the additional challenge for survivors in that they are being required to stay at home with their abuser.
This is understandable for the safety of the community as a whole but creates new challenges for them to address and requires them to think outside the box in how it reaches out and provide services for those in need. The organization continues to provide a 24-hour hotline — (816-HOTLINE or 816-468-5463)– that is available to anyone who is in crisis or has questions about what they can do and what services are available.
Hope House continues to operate two emergency shelters, but at limited capacity. It must continue to implement social distancing even in shelter so they have had to limit the number of people residing in shelter to ensure the safety of all clients and staff. They are looking at new options and opportunities for sheltering people differently so we can help as many people as possible.
Outreach services are continuing in some capacity and being provided remotely through phone or web contact. Even when a partner agency/service is closed, such as the courts, Hope House is still working on new ways to connect with those in need and supporting them as they navigate through this crisis.
What can you do to help?
One of the biggest ways that the community can help is to identify and connect with those who are victims and trapped in their homes with their abusers. It is critical that those victims have a connection to their lifelines who are their family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.
Just as we are all being asked to connect with seniors and others who are at most risk the need for that connection is the life saving for a victim of domestic violence, now more than ever. We must continue to reach out and offer to listen and to create safety plans for those who are trapped in their homes. We can all help and it will literally be the difference between life and death. If you or someone you know need help you can call or text 911. Our 24-hour hotline (816-461-HOPE) and the Kansas City Metro-wide hotline (816-HOTLINE or 816-468-5463) are still open and answered 24 hours a day. Hope House can help you or a loved one formulate a safety plan and seek necessary resources.
Funding this organization will be critical and necessary for the life-saving work we do.
Here are ways to donate:
You can also help via Amazon Smile.
Urgent Need Items:
- Disinfectant Wipes
- Hand Sanitizer
- Diapers Sizes 3, 4, 5 (Pull-Ups)
- Paper Towels
- Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Adult and Children
- Over-the-counter Cold and Flu medication for adult and children