In just over a week after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) launched the Local Love in a Global Crisis fund to help our most vulnerable and our critically important social service sector. The fund has galvanized donor support, government support – federal, provincial and municipal – and corporate sector support. To date, $1.3 million has been raised to provide relief to our community. Collectively, here’s how we took action to make a difference and responded during the first phase of the pandemic.
May 21 – Seaspan, Southern Railway of British Columbia and The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation donate $600,000 to United Way to establish eight Community Builder Program hubs in BC neighbourhoods including Victoria/Esquimalt
March 19 – UWGV launches Local Love in a Global Crisis Fund to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
Fund focuses on three areas: non-profit sector support/basic needs, mental health and addictions, and help for seniors
March 27 – BC Government announces Safe Seniors, Strong Communities initiative to help isolated seniors stay connected and cared for during COVID-19
Bc211 takes on coordinating role of tracking isolated seniors and matching them with volunteers
United Way community partner Beacon Community Services coordinates efforts for south Vancouver Island
March 29 – Federal government announces $9 million to be administered through United Way across Canada to help seniors through New Horizons for Seniors Program
Over $180 thousand allocated to eight Greater Victoria organizations that support seniors including a meal delivery program for seniors
March 30 – UWGV partners with Accent Inns to offer hotel rooms for frontline workers needing to recoup and to safely self-isolate. Through the Hotels for Frontline Workers initiative 1,442 room nights were provided to essential workers throughout BC.
April 4 – Neighbourhood Response Team – a collaboration of HeroWork Society, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Victoria and UWGV – safely collect 600 tents, tarps and sleeping bags from the public for people experiencing homelessness
April 8 – UWGV asks local non-profits to apply for funding in response to COVID-19. Deadline for grant applications is April 24.
April 21 – The Government of Canada announces $350M Emergency Community Support Fund to help community organizations across Canada
ECSF Fund to be administered between the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada
$1.65 million made available to Greater Victoria community organizations and application process opened May 19
April 25 – Soap for Hope joins Neighbourhood Response Team partners. Greater Victorians donate over 28,000 items (soap, shampoo, body wash, menstrual products) for local people in need
April 30 – Scale Collaborative and VanCity partner with UWGV to launch new initiative
Survive & Thrive fund to help non-profits scale up, shift business models or hibernate in response to COVID-19
May 1 – The Bay Centre and Earls Kitchen + Bar team up with UWGV to launch one for one match program – for every grocery kit purchased from Earl’s, one is donated to a family in need
May 4 – National Defence Workplace launches charitable campaign for United Way as well as a National Defence COVID-19 Emergency Charity Campaign. The campaign provides public servants a way to help those in their communities impacted by COVID-19.
May 11 – UWGV announces results from 2019 campaign and funds raised through Local Love in a Global Crisis: $5.55 million
$1.2 million invested to help these local community organizations adjust during COVID-19: Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Bridges for Women, Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, NEED2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support, Pacific Centre Family Services, Pacific Training Centre for the Blind, Power to Be, Survive & Thrive program, UWGV’s Neighbourhood Response Team, Victoria Brain Injury Society, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, and Youth Empowerment Society
May 13 – UWGV hosts first Local Love Virtual Café exploring how local businesses and non-profits are managing through COVID-19
Panelists include the Bay Centre, Scale Collaborative, Accent Inns and Victoria Foundation. CBC Radio’s Gregor Craigie emcees and 74 participants attend
May 20 – UWGV celebrates and recognize the 250 local workplaces who ran fundraising campaigns through a virtual 2019 Spirit Awards
June 4 – UWGV hosts 2nd Local Love Virtual Café exploring seniors’ health and resources needed during COVID-19 and beyond