No Chicken Dinner. No Tootsie Roll sale. No Candy Sale. That’s just a few of the fundraising events typically conducted by local nonprofits that have been limited by COVID-9. 

Groups like the Riverside Township Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus, Junior Woman’s Charity have had to put aside not only fundraising events but regular business meetings and social gatherings, which are the heartbeat of many organizations. 

Venues for meetings for meetings have had to be changed and/or cancelled altogether. In the case of the Riverside Township Lions Club, who for years have held meetings at the Scottish Home, now known as Caledonia Senior Living, they were notified in the spring that the April meeting and subsequent meetings were cancelled until further notice. As of today, there has been no notice of returning to the site, so the club is in the process of making other plans.

The inconvenience of not meeting affects not only members of the organizations, it affects those who benefit from the funds that are raised for charitable purposes. Individuals and groups knew that they could rely on yearly donations. 

This year, the philanthropic organizations are having to revamp their giving and seek other ways to make those charitable distributions possible. Speaking for the Riverside Township Lions Club, we welcome donations at any time to help continue our work. I am sure that also speaks for any of the other groups within our communities. 

Census reminder: If you haven’t filled out your U.S. Census, you should. While the deadline appears to have been extended to Oct. 31, get it done as soon as possible. Visit my2020census.gov. Making sure you’re counted ensures we get the federal representation and dollars we are entitled to.

Vote! I encourage you to vote by mail. It is easy, safe and foolproof. It has worked successfully in Illinois for years, and this year due to the pandemic it is safer than ever. 

In-person early voting will start in mid-October, and once again Brookfield Village Hall is an early voting location. 

For those going to your polling place on Election Day, it may take longer since you have to follow the protocols. For example, the polling place at Riverside Township Precinct 8 at Blythe Park School is in a small room, which may limit the number of voting stations we can set up. 

As a longtime election judge there, I am checking on the details, so it will be safe for those voting in person. The polling place will have sanitizer. Back in March, the county didn’t send enough, but that was during the early days of the pandemic. We are hoping that has been straightened out by now.