Health & Safety are our key drivers. We continue to listen to the recommendations from the CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health and our local public health agencies to help us formulate our approach to this pandemic.
We are an unlicensed provider, so we have autonomy to self-govern. We do not take that responsibility lightly. The health and safety of our Warriors, staff, families and community are at the forefront of every decision we make. Many of those among us have increased vulnerability to COVID-19 as it relates to being considered in the high-risk category. We are also a very community-based organization in all of our programs, so nearly all of our activities are subject to risk when it comes to groups and gathering.
The health and safety of our Warriors, staff, families and community are at the forefront of every decision we make. We are dedicated to supporting our community of Warriors and doing everything we can to adapt into a new virtual form of engagement that involves many forms of both, traditional and innovative technology. We are using everything from the telephone to Zoom video conferences to keep up our connection with the Warriors and their families, doing what we can to support from a virtual distance.
We are also fully committed to preservation. We are committed to keeping our team intact and our program space in place so that we can pick things up on the other side. That means we will do everything we can to avoid layoffs and essential spending cuts.
An abundance of caution continues to restrict us and has led us to extend our program suspension. Given the unknown of COVID-19 and the duration of time that the pandemic will affect our ability to gather, we are taking active measures to adjust all of our operations. Here are the specifics on the next phase of our response.
With these restrictions and the fact that most of our funding comes from private funding sources, we are in a very challenged position to shift our energy and reach out for support. We are working hard to adjust and overcome. Read on for a summary of where we are adjusting our approach and eating the storm.
From the outset of this pandemic, we have focused our response on maintaining our connections. We have put a firm focus on keeping connected with the Warriors we serve and their families. We have also made a firm commitment to keeping our staff intact.
With the CDC restriction on mass gatherings being in place and an even larger restriction coming from the Cook County Department of Health and the City of Chicago Department of Public Health we were forced to cancel the physical gathering on April 4th.
We are aiming to make the best of things by pivoting into a virtual auction and focused fundraising campaign. Participating in the auction or making a contribution now will help us preserve our team and our space through this very difficult period of isolation and separation.
If you have already purchased a ticket or committed to a sponsorship, please be advised that we will be reaching out to you directly to discuss the new plan and your options.
Our ever-inventive program team is working hard to change course in light of the times to keep Warriors engaged. We are using several platforms of virtual engagement to craft a new and ongoing interactive experience for however long we must endure the restrictions on gatherings. The current approach is embedded in the SeeSaw platform and using supplemental applications such as the Google Suite, Skype, Zoom and multiple social media apps.
We are a technology-saturated organization. Much of our tech is mobile and in position to be re-deployed to help us keep connected in times like this. We are working hard to deploy all of our devices to our staff and Warriors so that we can achieve some amount of sustained interaction during this period of stay-at-home isolation. We will continue to do our best to help get us all connected and work to anticipate additional needs as the stay continues and possibly lengthens.
Our enterprise activities fall under the exemptions of the stay at home rule. We will abide by all CDC, state and local public health restrictions, along with our escalated sanitization SOPs and COVID-19 specific work protocols. We will be developing a series of weekly pop-up events that will feature delivery and curbside pickup. We will also continue to make pickles and explore new avenues of expanding our production portfolio.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention homepage for COVID-19 information and response
Illinois Department of Public Health update page for COVID-19 information and response
Cook Count Dept. of Public Health update page for COVID-19 information and response
The Gala is canceled, but we will do our best to lean into our awesome auction donations and host a virtual auction that will begin on Friday, April 17th at noon and conclude on Monday, April 20th at 9:00 pm.
We are almost completely privately funded. We count on support from individuals and events to keep our programs going, especially during these unprecedented times. We need your support now more than ever. Please consider a gift to the Warrior Response Fund.
Our catering operation is still thriving under the exemption. We are hosting a weekly pop up that features curbside pickup or delivery of our Greatest Hits. Let us take care of dinner and join us also in supporting some of our local partners with the ‘Portion of our Portions’ piece of this effort.
Knockout Pickles can be found on the shelf at many of your local grocers and food retailers. Support the businesses that support our enterprise by shopping or ordering food from them and grabbing a jar while you do.
Opportunity Knocks is built on great partnerships. Connecting with our community through creative alliances is paramount to our mission impact. We have been blessed with these great partners. One way for us to get through this COVID-19 pandemic is to support our partners as they also work through it. If you can find a way to support them, you are also supporting us and this community around us.
Oak Park restaurants are still open for business. Operating under the approved exemptions of the State of Illinois Stay-at-Home Order, many of these restaurants are working hard to keep their businesses alive. This link heads to a website that has collected all of the details for those opportunities to eat, drink and support these local favorites.
Forest Park restaurants are still open for business. Operating under the approved exemptions of the State of Illinois Stay-at-Home Order, many of these restaurants are working hard to keep their businesses alive. This link heads to a group page on Forest Park Chamber of Commerce Facebook Group Page that has collected all of the details for those opportunities to eat, drink and support these local favorites.