MORRIS — We Care of Grundy County has announced its Red Kettle Campaign 2021. The holidays are around the corner and soon volunteers will beout ringing bells in front of Jewel and Walmart in Morris to fill the redkettles with coins and raise funds to help Grundy County residents in need.
“I am very excited to get back to bell ringing this year,” We Care of Grundy County Executive Director Eric Fisher said. “We were not able to ring last year due to the pandemic, but this year I am hoping to come back strong. We have been busier than we ever have been providing financial assistance. This year, we need this campaign to be a success, more than we ever have.”
We Care of Grundy County has partnered with the Salvation Army since the early 1980′s and has made the Red Kettle Campaign a tradition. 100% of the funds raised during the campaign are used for direct service to low income residents in need for rent, mortgage and utility assistance.
We Care gives financial assistance when there is a tangible crisis beyond a person’s control, working diligently to ensure a fair and impartial process for those seeking help and that funds are used responsibly and effectively to help those who are truly in need. We Care has a dedicated nine-person committee that looks at each case on an individual basis, ensuring fair, impartial and thoughtful decisions when it comes to providing financial assistance.
The past two fiscal years have been the busiest in We Care’s history. The greatest need through the pandemic has been financial, and it’s no wonder. The average rent in Grundy County for a two-bedroom apartment is nearly $1,200 per month. According to a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition “a full-time worker must earn at least $20.40 per hour to rent a modest one-bedroom home, or $24.90 per hour to rent a modest two-bedroom home. These amounts are far higher than many Americans—including seniors, people with disabilities, and working families—can spend on housing. Even before the pandemic, our nation had a shortage of 7 million affordable and available homes for renters with the lowest incomes. As a result, 70% of these households routinely spent more than half of their incomes on rent.”
We Care has seen a substantial rise in applications this fall and anticipates this trend to continue until at least after Christmas, if not into the new year. The Red Kettle Campaign is one of the main sources of funds that enables We Care of Grundy County to provide these services. On an average year,the campaign raises between $28,000-30,000.
“There are many ways to help with the campaign,” Fisher said. “We need bell ringers, and lots of them. We have many shifts to fill between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a great activity for groups, businesses, families or kids looking for community service hours for school. And of course, please consider giving when you see one of those red kettles, either at the stores where volunteers are ringing, or the tabletop kettles that are in businesses throughout the county. Every little bit really adds up.”
If you are interested in becoming a We Care bell ringer, please call We Care at 815-942-6389.