United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island’s (UWCNVI’s) Blue Love campaign is getting a financial kickstart.

Peninsula Co-op has donated $15,000 to the campaign, which was launched to increase services for islanders seeking mental health support as we enter year two of the pandemic. 

The gift will go to fund more mental health resources specifically in the Courtenay/Comox region.

The Blue Love campaign is a joint initiative between the two United Ways on Vancouver Island; Central & Northern Vancouver Island and Greater Victoria. 

The name “Blue Love” comes from the idea that not everyone’s heart is red. 

“Often hearts are black and blue from years of trauma or from an event or events that can change a person’s life. A global pandemic is a shared, worldwide trauma – and one that has turned many hearts blue,” UWCNVI said in a release.

 Peninsula Co-op is its presenting partner of the Blue Love Campaign on Vancouver Island with a $115K gift in total which, UWCNVI says, “will make a difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health challenges across the Island.”

The Blue Love Campaign aims to raise $1 million across the island for counselling, peer support and outreach services by the end of 2021 through corporate gifts, donations from the public, and United Way donors (both in partner workplaces and individual giving). 

To make a donation to the Blue Love Campaign, click here

“We are incredibly grateful to have Peninsula Co-op stand with us to ensure more of our Comox/Courtenay neighbours get the mental health support they need. We know that the pandemic has increased the need for this type of service and we are thankful to have this compassionate, well-respected local organization join us in making a difference,” said UWCNVI executive director, Signy Madden. 

“By working together we will be able to support our frontline agencies as they help blue hearts heal and become red again.”

UWCNVI says demand for services has increased, some by as much as 50 percent, and will continue to grow as the community moves to recover from the pandemic. 

The Blue Love Campaign is designed to help alleviate the demand for counselling, outreach and peer support services and reduce stressed and overworked frontline agencies.

“So many of our family, friends and neighbours are struggling with their mental health and they’re often not able to get the support they so desperately need. We hope that our community will be inspired to rally alongside us to provide more resources so we can help heal hearts and minds,” said Lindsay Gaudette, director of marketing and community relations at Peninsula Co-op.

Funds raised from the campaign by UWCNI will benefit local community partners in the Comox/Courtenay area who offer mental health supports.

As the Blue Love Campaign unfolds into the community, UWCNI says Country Grocer during April will be turning their stores ‘blue’ through a point-of-purchase till campaign in support of Blue Love. 

Customers can buy a blue heart for $2 that will go towards funding the campaign.