In the midst of layoffs and widespread economic hardship, Health Hub owner Samantha Duncan has established a fundraiser to offer a small reprieve to locals suffering from cash flow problems.
“I just saw a lot of people posting on Facebook and other places that they had not been able to access unemployment,” said Duncan. “They weren’t getting calls back, they were waiting and they were pretty strapped for cash. And also the stimulus checks hadn’t come out yet.”
While services exist in Cottage Grove for food, housing and utility support, Duncan observed that certain barriers such as mobility have prevented some from accessing aid and direct cash relief to these community members could be a viable alternative.
“People in the community had also been asking me where they could be helpful in terms of financial support, so I kind of put the two together,” said Duncan.
The aid is geared toward people who have recently been laid off and lack access to social safety nets. Duncan’s fundraiser awards up to $100 to applicants, “which in the grand scheme of things is just a drop in the bucket,” she said, “but it helps.”
Donations have steadily streamed in since the fundraiser began collecting on April 16, totaling about $1,500 as of May 7.
So far, the program has managed to distribute money to eight community members, mostly awarding $100 each.
Those wishing to donate may do so directly on Facebook at the “Health Hub Covid 19 Emergency Fundraiser” page or by depositing a donation at Banner Bank to the “Health Hub Covid Emergency Fund” account.
A link to applications to recieve aid can be found on the fundraiser’s Facebook page.
As the economic horizon is still hazy for many, Duncan plans on keeping the fundraiser going “as long as people want to donate money to help people,” she said.