BELOIT—Beloit City Council President Regina Dunkin said homeless families are in need of help particularly now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and she is happy to lend her support.

In honor of the 14th annual Regina Dunkin Day, the council president said she is asking community members to donate money to Family Promise of Greater Beloit, an organization that offers food and shelter to families facing homelessness while serving as a transition into stable housing.

“I hope people will join me, be generous and find it in their hearts to give to this wonderful cause,” Dunkin said. “I am grateful for all of the continued support from the community. It’s not about me; it’s about us, all working together to make an even better Beloit.”

Checks or cash can be mailed directly to Family Promise of Greater Beloit, at 655 Bluff St., through Aug. 10.

Culver’s in Beloit also will help fundraise for Regina Dunkin Day. The restaurant will donate a percentage of its proceeds to Family Promise of Greater Beloit from 4-8 p.m. on Aug. 9.

For more information, visit Family Promise of Greater Beloit’s Facebook page.

Homelessness affects people regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, Dunkin said, and as those without stable housing face devastating physical and economic hardships, she hopes this year’s fundraiser will help get some families back on their feet.

Devin Blay-Stahl, Executive Director of Family Promise of Greater Beloit, said she is enormously grateful to receive support from the community.

“We are extremely blessed and thankful to be chosen for Regina Dunkin Day. It is much needed and appreciated during these times,” Blay-Stahl said. “We just appreciate that we were thought of for these donations so that we can strive towards the goal of helping homeless families and help them become self-sufficient.”

Blay-Stahl said that amidst the pandemic and since Wisconsin’s moratorium on evictions was recently lifted, the organization has been receiving an increased number of calls from people in need.

Additionally, Blay-Stahl said many homeless shelters in the Rock County area are currently full.

About 20 families are currently on a waiting list to be served, Blay-Stahl said. The organization typically is able to serve three families or 14 people in total, but she hopes their team can expand services to more people.

In recent months, Blay-Stahl said Family Promise of Greater Beloit has been able to graduate five families into secure and stable housing.

Dunkin also chairs the Wisconsin State Public Defender Board and previously served as executive director for 18 years at the Merrill Community Center. Regina Dunkin Day was proclaimed by the Beloit City Council on Aug. 6, 2006.

In past years, local donors for Regina Dunkin Day have helped organizations such as the Stateline Family YMCA, Stateline Boys and Girls Club or the Beloit Literacy For Life Initiative. Dunkin said the Stateline Community Foundation, Beloit Health System and many other community partners have been tremendously helpful before.

In 2019, community members collectively raised more than $3,000 for the Stateline Boys and Girls Club, and Dunkin said she hopes for a similar amount this time around.

“I try to rally the community to show that we can all—even if it’s on a small scale—make a big impact,” Dunkin said. “I believe in volunteering and giving back to our community that I love.”