Making a Difference in a year like no other
United Way Greater Victoria raised $6.2Million this past year thanks to donors, innovative partnerships and federal programs to support southern Vancouver Islanders during the pandemic
Victoria, BC (April 21, 2021) – In a year with unexpected challenges, United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) raised $6.2 Million to help the struggling non-profit sector by creating innovative partnerships in support of isolated seniors, families in need and individuals struggling with mental health and/or addictions. With a demand for social services like never before and having to adapt from in-person to virtual settings, UWGV was there for our community and will continue to lead our recovery and rebuild from COVID-19.
Through the support of donors who dug deep amidst adversity, UWGV focused its efforts over the last year on priority areas, developing partnerships to address emerging trends including:
- Meal delivery for isolated seniors through our More than Meals program
- A digital help desk and tech lending library for families, online parenting programs, mental health programs for youth, and food security programs through a partnership with the Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses
- A safe haven for children under the age of 5 dealing with trauma through our Little Phoenix Daycare project with Greater Victoria Family Services and VIRCS
- Helping not-for-profits pivot to provide virtual services through our Survive and Thrive initiative with Scale Collaborative
- Collaborated with mental health service providers such as the Greater Victoria Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) – Systems Navigation Working Group to help reduce barriers and strengthen access to counselling services, outreach, social connections and peer support.
Because of UWGV’s expertise in the social service and not-for-profit sector, the Government of Canada entrusted UWGV to manage and distribute $1.5 Million through the Emergency Community Support Fund. UWGV funded 55 agencies and 60 programs (16 of which were co-funded in partnership with Victoria Foundation). UWGV also managed and distributed $167,000 through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program impacting eight senior serving organizations.
Corporate partners also relied on UWGV’s expertise as a convener and connector to the charitable non-profit sector. Working with Bell Canada, UWGV distributed 750 cell phones and SIM cards to people in need across southern Vancouver Island. UWGV also facilitated the distribution of 32,000 masks to people in need throughout the region as part of the One Million Masks Initiative led by Deloitte and that included other corporate partners such as BC Transit, BC Ferries and BCAA.
Generosity comes in many forms and for UWGV many donors are volunteers – lending their time, talent and treasure to the cause. As part of National Volunteer Week (NVW) running April 18 to 24, UWGV would like to recognize its volunteers – Board members, Workplace Advisory Council members, Leaders Committee, Labour Committee, Women United members, and Employee Campaign Chairs and other supporters at community partner workplaces. This year’s theme of NVW is the “Value of One, the Power of Many”. This theme exemplifies the achievements of United Way and its volunteers.
Over 200 volunteer Employee Campaign Chairs coordinated employee giving programs at their workplaces in 2020. These individuals are essential as they act as fundraising champions of United Way in workplaces with the full support of leadership in those organizations. UWGV’s More than Meals program also relies on volunteers. Since launching in March 2020 due to COVID-19, one hundred volunteers have stepped up to help deliver meals and provide a friendly hello to local isolated seniors through the program.
For more than 80 years United Way Greater Victoria has been helping its neighbours on southern Vancouver Island, and this year showed, more than ever, that communities are strongest together. If you would like to know more about UWGV or to make a donation, please visit uwgv.ca.
About United Way Greater Victoria
United Way is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change. In response to COVID-19, we are focusing our efforts on urgent community needs such as mental health outreach services and counselling, meals and companionship for isolated seniors, and essentials for families in need. United, we accelerate change to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making our local community stronger. We believe everyone in Greater Victoria should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Our vision is to build a safe and resilient community where happiness and belonging connect us.