What started as a small group looking to give back to DeKalb County during the pandemic has turned into a large organization helping thousands.
“I’m amazed by the response but I’m not surprised,” said Melissa Butts, Taking Care of our Caretakers co-chair.
When the pandemic first hit Butts started “Taking Care of our Caretakers”, a Facebook group that uses money donated to provide frontline workers with a gift card to a local restaurant.
“Our restaurants have been hit tremendously by the stay-at-home orders, reduced capacity, and one of the people I have become friends with says this there down to about 37% of what they are normally bringing in right now,” Butts said.
Butts says because of the generous donations her organization has raised $50,000, provided 6,000, healthcare workers, food and helped 70 restaurants in DeKalb County stay open.
“When we first started this and we had one of the restaurant owners say because of your $1000 order, it was $1,000 for the hospital when we first started he said he got to keep 5 people employed today, I was all in,” Butts said.
“I think what she’s been able to do with her organization is amazing,” said Justin Elliott, Clean USA owner.
The tremendous success of Taking Care of our Caretakers has inspired Elliott to join in by providing free car cleaning to essential workers.
“You bring your vehicle by and step out of it and My team will disinfect them for free and in the meantime, we will have snack boxes,” Elliott said.
“It has just become a big old party in the Hy-Vee parking lot,” Butts said.
“Clean for a Cause” takes place Friday at the Hy-Vee shopping center and the group is looking to host a laundry soap donation event in the near future.
For more information or to donate you can head over to the “Taking Care of our Caretakers” Facebook page.
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