As our current and constantly changing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, I could not be more proud to call Freeport my home.

With the shortages of personal protective equipment, so many have stepped up to help out, showing that their genuine care for others is second to none.

CoreFX Ingredients in Orangeville, manufacturers of custom dry dairy and lipid health and wellness ingredients, recently donated to our local health care facilities in Monroe, Wisconsin, and Freeport with a supply of gloves and hand sanitizer to support the front-line workers.

The Stephenson County Health Department continues to ask for sewn fabric face masks in an effort to protect as many in the public as possible. If you still have the supplies to make masks and can assist with this need, please drop them off at the department at 10 West Linden St.

They will then sanitize them and make ready for distribution to multiple locations. Again, thank you to each of you who are sewing, as well as those who are giving financially to help meet that need.

This week, Craig Beintema, Stephenson County Health Department, and I met to begin a video series called "Conquering COVID19 Together" that we hope will help with getting accurate information to our constituents.

Our intent is to better inform our community of all the changing information, and as always you can see this video series and other information on our website and City of Freeport IL – City Hall Facebook page for the most current information.

The Salvation Army currently is serving some 50 meals Monday through Friday and the numbers are continuing to rise due to the increase in unemployment. They are also giving out bread and fresh produce, among other things, to people in need.

The Freeport Salvation Army does not need volunteers at this time; however, they do need gifts of money. If you would like to give, please donate online at All of these funds stay local. Thank you, Jim and Lee and your staff for your commitment and love for this community.

A few weeks ago, restaurants, bars and hotels were given the opportunity to apply for a hospitality grant through the state. Two-thirds of the $14 million went to Chicago and collar counties. The remaining one-third went to the rest of the state.

This grant is similar to the lottery, and whoever’s name is drawn is the winner. Freeport was fortunate to have one recipient so far. Congratulations, Joe’s Pizza!

Thursday, the president laid out his plan for "opening up America again." I think it is very wise to go in phases. The city is working with the health department and the county on what that means for us. Rest assured, we want people to get back to work as much as you do. Idle hands and idle minds are not the best for anyone.

So many are asking, "When will we be back to normal?" Nothing should go back to normal! Normal wasn’t working. If we go back to the way things were, we will have lost the lesson. Too often we were a complacent people, taking others and things for granted -- complaining instead of solving.

Use this time for personal reflection, instead of pointing out the speck in another’s eye. Let’s determine to be a part of the solution, be more kind, more helpful, more loving and more appreciative. Let’s all do our part. May we rise up and do better.

Let love and kindness be your motivation in all you do and together we can show the world that Freeport is a great place in which to live, work and play. Thank you for being a part of it!

Jodi Miller is mayor of Freeport.