Renewed Call for Volunteers & Donations by Berrien Organizations

While a number of individual drives have gotten underway in recent weeks during the pandemic, a unified call for help has been issued today by several Berrien County organizations seeking to marshal the people and resources necessary to fight the COVID-19 battle.

Several organizations in Berrien County are renewing the call both for residents to volunteer for or donate towards the COVID-19 response efforts.

The United Way of Southwest Michigan is looking for volunteers who are willing and able to help in a variety ways during the ongoing crisis. Volunteers may be needed to help with tasks such as food distribution, cleaning, laundry, and more. At this time, volunteers would be “on-call,” essentially meaning that they will only be contacted if a specific need arises. Details regarding dates, locations, etc. are not available at this time but will be shared if and when the need arises. Volunteers who are willing to sign up to be “on call” to help can sign up through the United Way website.

Donations are also solicited from residents who can contribute supplies, materials, or funds to the organizations fighting the virus. Donations received through the United Way will benefit organizations and facilities that serve vulnerable/at-risk populations who are unable to source supplies on their own, and are still serving people in-person with the possibility of close physical contact.

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Starting on Monday, April 13th, donations can be dropped off at the United Way of Southwest Michigan office at 2015 Lakeview Avenue in St. Joseph, on Mondays from 3:00pm-to-5:00pm and Fridays from 10:00am-to-noon. The following items are especially needed:

Clothing

  • New, clean socks and underwear…
  • Scrubs, new or gently used…

New PPE/Medical Supplies

  • N95/Surgical Masks…
  • Isolation masks…
  • Handmade masks…
  • Masks with face shield/visor…
  • Face shields…
  • Goggles/safety glasses…
  • Gloves…
  • Thermometers…
  • Disposable medical gowns…
  • Ponchos…

New Cleaning Supplies

  • Bleach wipes…
  • Hand Sanitizer…

Food Items

  • Shelf stable snacks…
  • Shelf stable microwaveable meals…

New Hygiene Items (Travel Size/Disposable)

  • Soap…
  • Shampoo…
  • Toothbrushes…
  • Toothpaste…
  • Deodorant…
  • Feminine care products…
  • Shaving cream…
  • Razors…

Those who are able to contribute financially to the cause can visit the link below for more information: http://www.southwestmichigancares.org

You can also text SWMICARES to 41444 to donate from your mobile device or send checks to:

Berrien Community Foundation

Southwest Michigan Cares Fund

2900 S. State Street, Ste 2E

St. Joseph, MI  49085

Non-Profit organizations seeking to benefit from the supplies, materials, and funds donated can apply for what they need through the United Way of Southwest Michigan by emailing Amanda Drew at amanda.drew@uwsm.org.

Spectrum Health Lakeland is also still accepting donations that will be used by Lakeland-operated facilities at 2550 Meadowbrook Road in Benton Harbor, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 4 pm A complete list of supplies needed by them can be found at this link:

http://www.spectrumhealthlakeland.org/covid19donations