Frontline Worker Support Fund Started

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WARREN, Pa. – The Warren County Commissioners, in conjunction with the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry, the Community Foundation and the Warren Lions Club, have created a program to bring food and personal items to workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program involves weekly deliveries of snacks, drinks, and personal care items to multiple institutions that are caring for vulnerable populations or populations already affected by the Coronavirus.

“I think this is a fantastic idea. As COVID cases increase throughout the community, I don’t think there is a single employee who has not been impacted professionally and personally,” said Ken Schonbachler, CEO of the Rouse. “We try to support our staff as much as possible, but I’m sure seeing they have this support from the community will have a significant impact on their morale.”

Nursing staff and doctors at Warren General Hospital, nursing homes as well as the support staff in healthcare institutions have been in working 12- and 16-hour shifts due to staff shortages as a result of COVID-19 exposure. The long shifts leave little time for food prep and personal care.

“I am so proud of the resilience and the dedication of those on the front lines in all healthcare facilities working so hard to take care of those who are compromised or touched by COVID,” said Commissioner Tricia Durbin, “I also have faith in the dedication and giving hearts of those in our community who will help this plan succeed due to their gifts.”

The “Frontline Workers Support Fund,” will begin with a budget of approximately $2,500 per week, with seed money provided by the Community Foundation.

Food and supplies, such as granola bars, chips, breakfast snacks, coffee, water, deodorant, shampoo, and other items will be purchased and stored by the WCCBI, to be distributed weekly by Lions Club volunteers to healthcare organizations. This will continue through December and January as the healthcare workers continue to address the pandemic through the peak in this winter’s flu season.

“The Community Foundation is pleased to help support our frontline health care workers.  This has been such a challenging year for them and we owe them such a debt of gratitude for their dedicated service, ” said John Lasher, Executive Director of the Foundation.

To raise money to support the effort, the WCCBI has provided a PayPal donation button on its homepage so that citizens looking to support our healthcare workers can make a donation. Interested individuals can also donate by sending checks payable to the WCDA to 308 Market Street, Warren PA 16365. The WCDA is a certified 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

“We are excited to partner with the Community Foundation and Warren County Commissioners and residents of Warren County in helping those who are helping those of us in need, sacrificing their personal time and willingly putting themselves in harms way on our behalf,” WCCBI President Jim Decker said. “We greatly appreciate and applaud the generosity of our community in joining with us in providing the funds necessary to allow us to extend this thank you to all our local caregiver heroes.”

“In our regular calls to these organizations we saw a clear need for support as the system has become stretched,” Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said. “I am grateful these organizations have come together to increase support for the vital staff on the front lines of the pandemic.”

The organizers expect the supporting materials to start reaching the frontline workers within the next week, before the Christmas Holiday. For questions concerning this campaign, please contact a WCCBI staff member at 814-723-3050. To volunteer, please contact Jeff Eggleston via phone at 814-584-2203 or email [email protected].