Lake County's 211 system now connecting volunteers with organizations

Editor's note: This version corrects the spelling of Michelle Mittler Crombie's name.

In September, United Way Lake County launched the 211 service to connect people in need to health and human services. This month, officials added a new feature to help match residents with organizations and charities seeking volunteers during the pandemic.

Michelle Mittler Crombie, the vice president of community impact for United Way Lake County, said residents can help out in a number of ways, including making cloth masks, dropping off food for homebound people and calling to check in on seniors.

Crombie said those interested in volunteering just need to fill out a brief form on the website and someone from United Way 211 will call them.

"So many of the organizations are so busy they haven't even had the time necessary to call potential volunteers back," Crombie said.

One organization that volunteers could be paired with is Catholic Charities, which is in desperate need of people to deliver food to seniors through the Meals on Wheels program.

"They have figured out a way to pick up and drop off the meals without getting in contact with people," Crombie said.

"So it is something people can do mostly from the comfort of their cars."

Crombie said there is also an urgent need for people to produce cloth masks and deliver them to drop-off locations at Lincolnshire's village hall at 1 Olde Half Day Road and the Lake County Housing Authority at 33928 N. Route 45 in Grayslake.

"On the website we have a link to the health department-approved ways to make a mask," Crombie said.

And even residents lacking needle and thread can help if they have phones. Crombie said ElderCARE Lake County, the organization that provides free services for homebound seniors, needs help checking up on clients.

"Instead of having a friendly visit, they need people to make a friendly phone call," Crombie said.

To apply for these and other volunteer opportunities, go to and click on COVID-19 volunteer opportunities on the main page.

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