Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund launched, $23 million raised so far for Illinoisans

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“We all have to own our actions right now, all of us. Ultimately, you’ll be judged by what you do in this moment. I have one job and one job only, to save as many lives as possible.” Illinois’ Governor told reporters on Thursday.

Governor Pritzker owned those headed words following yesterday’s briefing that announced the newly launched Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF). The Governor was asked if he had contributed to the newly launched fund himself by reporters. He replied yes, saying The Pritzkers and their Foundation had contributed two-million dollars each to the newly formed fund.

The statewide fundraising effort is designed to support nonprofit organizations serving those whose lives have been upended by this pandemic. The fund is a result of a partnership with United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations.

“This is a fund to support all of Illinois: from Chicago to Carbondale, Cairo to Rockford. No one is immune to this virus — and nobody should be left to recover without help. We will get through this if we work together and stand up for one another.” said Governor JB Pritzker.

The fund will work to focus on basic needs for Illinoisans, including emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing and shelter, primary health services, utility and financial assistance, support for children and non-profit safety and operation assistance. 

 Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the Governor’s sister, will chair the fund. “As the Governor has said, there’s no more important work to do right now than protecting our most vulnerable residents,” said Penny Pritzker, Chairman of PSP Partners. 

“This is an all hands-on deck moment. Illinois’ more than 35 community foundations and our stellar local United Way partners are proud to be a part of this important effort to ensure all corners of the state are helped by this response fund. And we are well-positioned to help ensure that this fund operates in coordination with other efforts underway,” said Louise “Wegi” Stewart, Manager of the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations.

So far, ICRF has already raised $23 million dollars. In the upcoming weeks, the steering committee will evaluate and disburse funds to the initial wave of charitable organizations serving at-need communities across the entire state. All donations and distributions will be available to the public.

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