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United Way connects community partners to resources

NEW ULM — The United Way of the Brown County Area, in partnership with United Commercial Upholstery, have provided 1,000 full clear face shields to Brown County schools and nonprofits.

United Commercial Upholstery, (UCU), designs and produce nearly every kind of high-quality seating and upholstered goods at their New Ulm site. When the COVID-19 Crisis stuck and most nonessential businesses shut down, UCU quickly switched gears and started producing PPE products that could keep their staff working and help provide a high demand product to those who desperately needed them.

As the pandemic and the demand for PPE supplies began to stabilize in Minnesota, the company wanted to give back. Marie Hort, Business Development Director at UCU, reached out to the local United Way office to see if there would be a need for the stock of Face Shields that they had left in their warehouse.

“When Marie emailed me to see if the United Way knew of anyone who could use face shields, I knew exactly who to reach out to, and immediately contacted all of the schools in our Brown County service area and the response was almost instantaneous,’ Lori Pickell-Stangel, United Way Executive Director, said. School leaders quickly requested over 750 masks for staff use now and in the coming school year.

The next group the United Way contacted was the more than 30 Partner Non-profit organizations they work with in Brown County. In a few days the 1,000 face shields donated by UCU owners, Chris and Phil Vorwerk were quickly all spoken for.

“I knew that the need for PPE was still a concern in our schools and nonprofits and I am just so thankful that the Vorwerk’s and UCU thought of the United Way as the first contact with this donation opportunity. This partnership is the best example of the United Way of the Brown County Area’s mission of ‘Connecting People to Resources’,” Pickell-Stangel said.

If your Brown County based nonprofit organization needs COVID-19 PPE or other supply needs, please go to our COVID-19 Emergency Nonprofit Assistance Grants page and apply: https://www.unitedwaybrowncountyarea.org/covid-19-emergency-non-profit-assistance-grant-application.

If you are an individual who is in need or suffering from the impacts of the COVID-19 Emergency, please go to our Partner Organization page for help: https://www.unitedwaybrowncountyarea.org/partner-organizations.

Or call / email the United Way UnitedWay@newulmtel.net or 507-354-6512.

You can also learn more about the United Way of Brown County Area at https://www.unitedwaybrowncountyarea.org/.

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