United Way’s Local Love in a Global Crisis Campaign supports resiliency and rebuilding among critical social service sector

May 11, 2020 / by United Way

Funds raised to date reach over $1.2 million

Victoria, BC (May 11, 2020) – A  campaign year which raised over $4.35 million and supported over 90,000 people in Greater Victoria concluded, and the United Way’s attention has been squarely focused on the COVID-19 pandemic since March. The Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign was launched and to date has raised $1.2 million thanks to individuals, businesses and government partnerships and all donations will stay local to improve lives.

This important campaign ensures people have access to life’s essentials, including food. These funds also support seniors while they are isolated, help community partners do their vital work, and support mental health and addictions by enabling crisis lines and other remote counselling tools.

On Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. PST, the United Way will be launching a new virtual webinar series, Local Love Virtual Café, with a focus of uniting local business, social and philanthropic leaders around what innovations and collaborations are needed to best support our community during the current global pandemic and its impacts into the future.

“The need and demand for social services is only going to grow and put extreme pressure on an already fragile system post COVID-19,” says Mark Breslauer, CEO, United Way. “Now more than ever we need collaborators and innovators, united in our passion to transform local lives. This is why the focus of our first Local Love Café is looking to the future. What is the state of Greater Victoria’s social safety net and what will recovery and resilience look like post COVID-19?”

As communities across Canada focus on recovery and building resiliency for the future, United Way’s donor-centric approach is emphasizing the need to collaborate with local leaders on innovative solutions, and continuing to deal with #UNIGNORABLE issues which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Recent collaborations with Accent Inns, the Bay Centre and the Scale Collaborative with its Survive and Thrive program for local not-for-profits and social enterprises, were all launched in this spirit of collaboration and innovation.

“United Way has done so much good with their Local Love campaign,” said Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns. “They literally came to our rescue when people started calling the Accent Inns front desk wanting to pay for part of a hotel stay for a frontline worker. Over a weekend, we forged a partnership that has helped pay for over 1,200 room nights for frontline workers who needed to self-isolate away from their families. It is a tremendous feeling to be able to tell a nurse who could not afford a hotel bill on top of all their regular bills, that their stay is being covered by the generosity of their community. A lot of tears have been shed around here.”

During these unprecedented times, United Way’s support to its long-standing network of community funded partners has remained steady and unwavering as all funding commitments continue to be fulfilled into this new fiscal year.

Examples of United Way funded community partners who have had to pivot and reimagine how they provide services post COVID-19 and received funding from United Way’s Local Love fund include Bridges for Women, where funding enabled them to transition to remote services, including the delivery of online programs and counselling services. Incidences of domestic violence often spike during periods of forced isolation and prevailing anxiety, and economic insecurity can keep women stuck in the cycles of abuse and poverty. This project will address these challenges and provide a platform to keep Bridge’s clients connected and safe.

Funding support for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society enables the deployment of a highly trained field team to proactively call seniors in the CRD affected by a blood cancer in order to conduct a reassurance check-in and evaluate the individual’s needs. The caller will ask whether a person is isolated, needing direct support such as money or food, or is struggling with mental or emotional challenges or stress.

Funding support for the Fairfield Community Association launched a collaborative initiative representing the Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses. It enables the expansion of counselling services to their individual communities, including equipping front line staff with the tools needed to provide mental health services remotely. Additionally, resource kits will be provided to individuals and families with the goal of increasing positive and healthy child/adult interactions as well as good mental health and self-care.



United Way is a leader, influencer and difference-maker in the lives of people living on Vancouver Island. People can still support the United Way’s Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign at https://uwsvi.ca/covid19 as we move into the recovery phase of COVID-19. Last fiscal year United Way raised $4.35 million thanks to over 7,000 donors and over 250 workplaces opening their offices to run employee giving programs. These funds allowed United Way to support over 90,000 people, 63 agencies and over 90 programs.

Media Contact

Heather Skydt
United Way Greater Victoria
Director Marketing and Communications
Mobile: 250-686-3606

Deepa Pillay
Beattie Tartan
Mobile: 250-619-7110