How to help in the Northland
This list includes ways the public can help area organizations and causes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back for updates. Send additions and changes to email@example.com.
Meals and food donations
B&B Market, Cloquet: Monetary donations for gift cards can be made over the phone. Anyone who receives a gift card from B&B must use it immediately on groceries or meat. No tobacco products or gas are allowed. For more information, call B&B Market at 218-879-3555 or visit the market at 506 Big Lake Road, Cloquet.
Two Harbors Food Shelf: The food shelf is seeking monetary donations, as well as cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, tissues and other household items, such as shampoo and deodorant. Donations can be arranged Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call ahead at 218-391-8191 to ensure there are enough volunteers to accept donations.
Personal protective equipment donations
Cloth masks for Cloquet Area Fire District: The department is taking mask donations to be distributed to people in the community who need them. Drop off donations at Station 1, 508 Cloquet Ave., Cloquet.
PPE for Community Memorial Hospital and Sunnyside Health Care Center: The Cloquet facilities are asking for donations of latex-free gloves, disposable gowns, surgical and clinical masks, homemade masks, N95 respirators, face shields, Tyvek suits, powered air-purifying respirators, thermometers (tympani preferred, oral cap covers, infrared), Oxivir disinfectant, hand sanitizer swabs, cleaning wipes with bleach, viral culture media, hair covers, shoe booties, expired items if unopened and unused. Masks and other small items can be placed on the table inside the front main entrance at CMH from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with questions.
Essentia PPE donations: Essentia Health's West Market has a drop-off for personal protective equipment at Miller Hill Health Plaza, 1600 Miller Trunk Road, Duluth, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Items needed include unopened, medical-grade N95 masks, gowns, eye protection and gloves; face shields; and handmade cotton surgical masks. Donors are asked to remain in their vehicles and wait for site staff to collect donations, which will be cataloged and distributed where needed. For more information, call Tonya Loken at 218-786-4016 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fond du Lac Reservation PPE donations: The Fond du Lac Reservation is seeking unused N95 masks, sealed and in good condition; unused hand sanitizer, at least 60% alcohol; disposable nitrile gloves, sizes small, medium, large and extra-large; and sewn face masks. Donations will go to the Fond du Lac Emergency of Operations Center and Fond du Lac health care facilities. To have donations picked up, call the FDL EOC Community Hotline at 218-878-7175 or mail them to 1720 Big Lake Road, Cloquet, MN 55720.
Sew What Lake County?!: Lake County Emergency Management is asking residents to make and donate homemade masks for emergency services units and residents. While homemade masks are not considered medical-grade PPE, they can help with source control for people with symptoms, extend the life of PPE and protect workers and patients. Masks can be dropped off at the following locations after calling ahead to make arrangements: Lake County Offices at 99 Edison Blvd., Silver Bay, 218-226-4443; Lake County Health & Human Services at 616 Third. Ave., Two Harbors, 218-834-8400; Finland Community Center, 6866 Cramer Road, Finland, 218-353-0300. For more information and instructions, visit co.lake.mn.us .
St. Luke's PPE donations: Most critical needs are for surgical and industrial grade supplies, including N95 masks, face shields, Tyvek suits and gowns coated with polypropylene. Handsewn cloth masks are still needed and accepted. PPE donations can be dropped off at St. Luke’s Building A first-floor entrance Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
NAACP mask donations: The Duluth Branch NAACP is collecting face masks donations. The NAACP is giving away masks for free to members of the black, indigenous and people of color communities, as COVID-19 disproportionately impacts these communities. Masks for children and adults are needed. To drop off cloth masks, contact the NAACP Communications Committee at email@example.com or donate to the Twin Ports Mask Brigade .
Cloth masks for congregate living settings: St. Louis County is partnering with area fire departments to hold an ongoing cloth mask drive. Cloth masks can be dropped off any time at fire halls in Duluth, Ely, Grand Lake Township, Hermantown, Hibbing, Lakewood Township, Proctor and Virginia. St. Louis County staff will then distribute the masks to congregate living facilities in the county.
Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation: The organization has four separate COVID-19 funds to which people can contribute. Each of them makes grants to nonprofit organizations in the region. The funds are in need of replenishment:
- COVID-19 Northeast Minnesota Response Fund;
- COVID-19 Northwest Wisconsin Response Fund;
- COVID-19 Two Harbors Response Fund;
- Chequama-Care COVID-19 Response Fund.
The mission of the funds is to deploy resources to nonprofit organizations at the frontlines of the pandemic, especially those organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and its consequences. Donations can be made at dsacommunityfoundation.org or by sending a check to Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, 324 W. Superior St., Ste. 700, Duluth, MN 55802.
St. Luke’s COVID-19 Response Fund: St. Luke’s Foundation launched an online donation page specifically supporting St. Luke’s efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The dollars raised will be used where the need is most urgent. Donations can be made at slhduluth.com/DonateCOVID19 .
SOAR Career Solutions: The organization, which pairs people with careers, has moved its annual fundraiser online. For every $5 offered, donors will be entered in a drawing to receive gift cards to local businesses. Donations can be made at soarcareers.org .
United Way of Carlton County: The organization is accepting donations for its COVID-19 Local Relief Fund. The fund will be used to help Carlton County residents fulfill basic needs such as food, diapers, cleaning supplies and hygiene items. Gift cards to local grocery stores are also being accepted. Text "UWCARLTON" to 41444 to make a donation, or mail grocery cards to United Way of Carlton County, P.O. Box 250, Cloquet, MN 55720.
Fill-A-Truck, Feed a Family Food and Fund Drive: The Duluth Superior Transportation Association is raising funds for the Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. The organization has a goal to raise $10,000 by Sept. 30. To donate, visit northernlakesfoodbank.org and include "DSTA" in the comment field of the donation form so the drive's results can be tracked.
Send a caring message: As Minnesota continues social distancing, St. Louis County asks people to send a caring message to someone. This could be a loved one, someone who may be struggling or a person who works on the frontlines of the pandemic. The county has created an online form to send a message to people working in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and health care settings. These messages will be shared with staff and on social media.
Mental Health Minnesota CONNECT: Mental Health Minnesota has launched CONNECT, which provides social connections by phone between volunteers and people who are struggling with social isolation, loneliness, stress and anxiety. Volunteers also provide people with information and resources to help address mental health concerns if needed. To sign up to receive CONNECT phone calls or to volunteer, visit mentalhealthmn.org .
Phone calls and grocery runs for seniors: Age Well Arrowhead in Duluth is looking for students home from school to sign up to make check-in phone calls to seniors in their homes or make cards that can be delivered with their groceries. Age Well Arrowhead is also seeking volunteers to deliver groceries to seniors. To sign up to volunteer, call 218-623-7800.