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Letter: Thank you, Douglas County

Dear Editor,

The generosity of the people of Douglas County is absolutely amazing! During the holidays and throughout the year, Embarras River Basin Agency (ERBA) receives donations of clothing, books, small appliances, home décor, craft items, financial donations for various projects, and hours of volunteer services.

ERBA administers various Federal and State grants for the low income population. Some of the grants administered are Head Start, Homeless Programs, Weatherization, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), financial and housing counseling, and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) programs such as college scholarships, school supplies, emergency assistance, gas assistance for medical appointments, hot water heater replacement, and Family Functioning Development. ERBA’s goal is to help individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency and a better quality of life. The support we receive from the community helps greatly in that endeavor.

The School Supplies Program was a success again this year. A total of 41 Douglas County children in grades K-12 received a brand new backpack filled with all the school supplies needed to begin the school year. The success of this program was made possible through generous donations from: Salvation Army, Paul’s Machine Shop, Douglas County Republican Women’s Club, Women of the Moose, Immanuel Lutheran Church, First Mid Illinois Bank & Trust, Odd Fellows Lodge, Lyondell Bassell, Douglas County Post 27, and several anonymous donors. If anyone has been omitted it is not intentional and please accept our apology.

There is a clothing room maintained at the ERBA office in Tuscola that is stocked by generous donations from people in the community. An average of five good sized donations are made to this clothing room on a weekly basis. The room is stocked with not only clothing, but also books, small appliances, home décor and craft items. Nothing in good condition is turned away, and everything is free to anyone wishing to stop in and browse. All clothing is cleaned before being made available to the public. In 2017 there were 311 donations made of 1,714 items with an approximate value of $2,835. These items helped 252 individuals in 141 families

The Douglas County Area Coalition is the result of ERBA’s vision and dedication to helping those in need in the county. The first Coalition meeting was held in November 2017, at the Douglas County Health Department, and the next meeting will be held Jan. 22, 2018. The Coalition provides an opportunity for those who deliver services to network and join forces with resources available throughout the county. For more information about the Coalition and meeting dates and times, please contact the ERBA office at 217-253-4434.

We want to give our sincere thanks to everyone for the support ERBA receives. It is wonderful to see our community come together to help those who are experiencing financial shortfall. May God bless each and every one of you for your kindness.

Christina Wooley
ERBA Douglas County Outreach Specialist
and
Cathy Feltner
ERBA Executive Director

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