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Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club gives to the Evanston Community Rapid Response Fund

January 20, 2021

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Donations from the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club allowed ECF to support early childhood care and education programs during times of great need.

The first gift we received from Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club—an unrestricted contribution to the Evanston Community Rapid Response Fund—allowed us to purchase diapers for families and individuals who had infants and toddlers. Cradles to Crayons provided the logistical coordination with Evanston’s Bundled Blessings to distribute diapers to 650 children, using Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse’s staffed facility. Diapers were distributed to families through Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Family Focus, Childcare Network of Evanston, District 65 Family Center, Learning Bridge Early Education Center, and Evanston Aid. 

The Club’s second gift was used to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for early childhood centers. The contribution assisted five full-day and full-year early childhood care and education programs which serve a high percentage of children whose families are low-income and whose attendance is supported through the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and include the Childcare Network of Evanston, Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Learning Bridge Early Education Center, Reba Early Learning Center, and Toddler Town Daycare. 

These five programs reopened with new COVID protocols this past summer. PPE provided included no touch thermometers, gloves, adult face masks, adult face shields, blue shoe covers, and a fogger for disinfectant. ECF coordinated the ordering and delivery through a partnership with the Evanston Chamber of Commerce (which coordinated ordering), Northwestern University (whose purchasing department processed orders so we got their significant discount with vendors), and Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse (which put together the orders for each center and served as the pick-up site). 

Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club President, Chris Joyce said, “All in all, this was a great community collaboration.” Funding for early childhood care and education programs is always low, and the demands of reopening, the limits on the number of children who can return safely, and the costs of supplies necessary to safely reopen are an enormous stress on an already fragile sector. Thanks to the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club, this provision of PPE helped alleviate some of that stress.