Rock County non-profits in need of help staying afloat due to COVID-19

JANESVILLE, Wis. – Non-profit groups in Rock County say complications created by COVID-19 are impacting their ability to serve the community.

In Edgerton, the Edgerton Community Outreach says they were forced to temporarily close their thrift store, a main revenue source.

“That was a very tough choice,” said Director of Programs Emily Pope.  ” We met with our board last night and talked about all the reasons why we should and why we shouldn’t. It was honestly heartbreaking closing it, because we know that closing it means closing some of our programs that help our community,”

Pope says the change has impacted services like rent and utility assistance. Still, the group is working to provide groceries to as many families as it can each day.

“Families are calling and we are filling the orders over the phone and then we’re putting them on our back porch for pickup,” Pope said.

In Janesville, ECHO canceled its second fundraiser of the year due to state mandates of gathering sizes.  Because of this, the group is now operating at 50% of its fundraising budget.

“Without having that fundraiser, it’s going to be very difficult to be able to provide the level of services that are needed,” said Jessica Locher.

Locher says after Governor Tony Evers mandated the closing of bars and restaurants, ECHO has gotten requests for housing relief.

“Today alone we had ten households apply because they lost their jobs temporarily,” she said.

Both groups say their biggest needs are monetary donations. To give to Echo, visit their website here. To give to Edgerton Community Outreach, visit their website here.