DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) — More area restaurant owners workers now have a chance to receive additional donations from Project Cheer after the Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce extended its deadline until midnight Sunday.

Project Cheer was developed after chamber member businesses came together to help those struggling in the restaurant industry and to help support the local economy during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Chamber member restaurant owners were asked to submit those names of employees in most need.

The DRCC partnered with the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois to accept additional donations. The first round of Project Cheer raised over $22,000.

Funds were distributed to each employee in the form of Metro Money, the DRCC’s version of local gift certificates the week of December 14.

Metro Money can be redeemed at over 45 local businesses and is treated just like cash. This gift allows those employees the opportunity to purchase food, Christmas gifts, and more. 

According to DRCC spokeswoman Jennifer Oberheim, not all of the chamber's member businesses responded to the call for donations the first time around.

She said the second round of Project Cheer was announced to give them the opportunity to get involved. 

The next round of Project Cheer donations will be distributed next Tuesday, Dec. 22. Oberheim said this will likely be the last round of donations for now. 

To donate, click here.

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