Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a relief fund established for Illinois’ non-profit community this past Thursday. Pritzker joined the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations to announce the launch of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund or ICRF. The ICRF is being chaired by Pritzker’s sister and former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. The ICRF is designed to work with local response efforts to help fill residents’ basic needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Karen Walker of Prairieland United Way says that money is on the way to West Central Illinois for those who need help. She says that ICRF funds will be directed to non-profits and community organizations who will then distribute the funds to residents or use the funds to provide much needed community services like food and groceries, interim housing, primary health care services, utility bill relief, and support for children and vulnerable populations in the community. “We currently fund 27 agencies and have over 30 programs that we fund annually. We understand that many of them will go through their resources much quicker inside of this, so they are going to need additional funds to help get their money and services out to individuals in the community that need it.”
Walker said Prairieland United Way is under limited office hours and she has been working from home. “Anyone who is needing help, I would suggest contacting them directly or if you are unsure of who to contact, to contact me through email at email@example.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible.”
The ICRF launched with nearly $23 million in initial donations, including $4 million from Governor Pritzker’s family and his foundation. Ameren Illinois’ charitable trust announced this morning that it is donating $250,000 to the ICRF. Walker says that anyone locally can reach out to Prairieland United Way to get anyone connected to the help they need. To find out more about the ICRF, visit Ilcovidresponsefund.org. Walker says that non-profits should see an application to gain money from the fund within the next few days. She said she would also provide any assistance to any community group needing help filling out the application once it’s available.