United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island (UWCNVI) has allocated even more Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) dollars to help the most vulnerable people in our communities.

UWCNVI announced that 16 additional local organizations from the Malahat to Port Hardy have been funded to support the adaptation of their frontline services to help vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. These organizations are helping individuals and families who need it most. The funded programs will support crucial services like mental health and counselling resources, family and children supports, food security and rural food distribution.

“Charities and non-profit organizations are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, acting as lifelines for many vulnerable Canadians. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund so they can continue their invaluable work.” – The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

In July, UWCNVI invested in 64 organizations, 72 programs thanks to the federal ECSF. United Way staff and volunteers kept working on the ground across the region through June and July. This community development work helped procure an additional $391,099 in federal ECSF funding to support urgent needs in our communities, totalling $1.29M.

“We know that our communities are greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our on-the-ground knowledge and expertise in the local issues, we were able to secure this additional funding so we can help our neighbours who need it most,” said Signy Madden, Executive Director, United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island. “We are grateful for the support from the federal government and United Way Canada to help our local communities recover and persist through this crisis.”

Emergency Community Support Fund agencies funded in August:

  • Big Brothers & Big Sisters Central Vancouver Island
  • Clayuquot Biosphere Trust Society
  • Comox Valley Hospice Society
  • Comox Valley Transition Society
  • Cowichan Green Community Foundation
  • Cowichan Valley Hospice Society
  • Eureka Support Society
  • Forward House Community Society
  • Greenways Land Trust
  • Lush Valley Food Action Society
  • Nanaimo Family Life Society
  • Nanaimo Literacy Association
  • Mount Waddington Family Literacy Society
  • Parent Support Services Society of BC
  • Port Alberni Association for Children with Development Disabilities
  • Vancouver Island Mental Health Society

“Our communities and hard-working local community partner agencies are looking to us for support in this time of crisis. We are grateful to have secured this additional funding to help these essential agencies adapt and continue to serve our communities through the pandemic,” said Julie Miller Rushton, Director of Community Grants. “They continue to work relentlessly to help our vulnerable neighbours, and they need us more than ever.”

UWCNVI is thanking the UWCNVI volunteer Impact Councils for their time and local expertise in making these decisions.

This pandemic response funding from the federal government is key to helping vulnerable people across the region cope with the impacts of COVID-19. Further, everyday needs are becoming apparent throughout the region. Caring citizens and those with the ability to give are welcome to contribute to the UWCVI Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign, which helps local people with basic needs. Learn more and donate at uwcnvi.ca.

– with files from Patti Mertz