The Bears and Bears Care, the team's charitable arm, on Thursday announced a $1,920,000 commitment to COVID-19 relief efforts assisting those in need throughout Illinois.
As part of the commitment, $250,000 was donated to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund on March 20 and $250,000 will be donated each to the Advocate Charitable Foundation's Relief Fund for Critical Care, Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund and the University of Chicago's Community Support Programs.
The Bears and Bears Care will continue to assess community needs and find ways to assist local charitable organizations in the coming weeks and months.
"During this unprecedented crisis, we all need to join forces and do what we can to overcome this challenge together," said Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips. "At the Bears, we have committed $1,920,000 to local COVID-19 relief efforts and are encouraging fans to lend a helping hand in whatever ways possible. We will be forever grateful to the healthcare providers, first responders, grocers, sanitation workers, janitors and everyone keeping our communities healthy and safe during this time. Please continue to do your part and stay home so we can slow down the virus and save lives."
The Bears continue to remind everyone to adhere to state and city safety guidelines and ask that we all do our part by staying home. Fans who are able to make a financial donation to one of the many impactful organizations helping our communities in need are encouraged to do so. Anyone who has medical supplies, especially personal protective equipment, is being asked to email the state of Illinois at firstname.lastname@example.org with information on what they can contribute. Fans can also help by checking in on elderly neighbors or those living alone, giving blood, donating surplus food and toiletries, ordering takeout from local restaurants and sharing thank you messages for everyone keeping our communities safe and healthy during this crisis.
About Bears Care
The Bears have a longstanding tradition of supporting numerous charities and assisting those in need. Bears Care was incorporated in 2005 as a 501 © 3 organization committed to improving the quality of life for people in the Chicagoland community, especially disadvantaged children and their families, through targeted programs supporting education, youth athletics and medical research and health awareness programs focusing on breast and ovarian cancer. Since that time, Bears Care has issued grants totaling more than $21.5 million to over 100 qualifying agencies. For more information, please visit https://www.chicagobears.com/community/bears-care.
About the Advocate Charitable Foundation
Advocate Aurora Health is one of the 10 largest non-profit health systems in the United States, serving 3 million patients each year in Illinois and Wisconsin, and relies on philanthropy to expand access to care, enhance patient experience, enable innovation and improve health outcomes. During this time, they have established the Relief Fund for Critical Care and the Team Member Crisis Fund. The Relief Fund for Critical Care will be used exclusively for our patients, families and communities, and to further support our physicians, nurses and team members. The Team Member Crisis Fund will be used to assist team members who are financially impacted by COVID-19. For more information, please visit https://advocategiving.org/covid-19/.
About the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund
In collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to unite the funds raised by Chicago's philanthropies, corporations and individuals to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the region. The first two rounds of funding prioritized support to more than 140 nonprofit organizations that provide access to essential services such as emergency food and supplies, mortgage and utility assistance, as well as direct financial assistance due to recent job loss as a result of COVID-19. For more information, please visit https://www.chicagocovid19responsefund.org/.
About the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund
The United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of Governor JB Pritzker, established the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds from individual, corporate and foundation donors to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will swiftly deploy additional financial resources to local community foundations and nonprofits to support residents in need of emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing and shelter, primary health care services, utility assistance, direct financial assistance for household expenses, supports for children and other vulnerable populations, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance. For more information, please visit https://ilcovidresponsefund.org/.
About the University of Chicago's Community Support Programs
The University of Chicago is providing emergency support to address some of the immediate needs of local residents, businesses, and community-based nonprofits on the South Side as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is helping address the urgent food security needs on the South Side, as well as beginning to bridge the financial and resource gap for local businesses and community-based nonprofits in this critical period, before public and private sector assistance is fully mobilized. These efforts will provide at least 225,000 meals between March 30 and June 12 (3,000 meals per day on average) to South Side residents. It also will provide $1 million in direct funding support in the form of bridge grants to local small businesses and nonprofits as they fight to support their employees and clients and stay afloat during this unprecedented crisis. For more information, please visit https://coronavirusupdates.uchicago.edu/community-support/.