United Way launches COVID-19 recovery and response plan

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Today, United Way Southern Interior BC along with the Community Foundations of the North, Central and South Okanagan and other community partners, are asking the community to come together to support the most vulnerable members of our communities, as we continue to coordinate community and social service supports in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) across our region.

After consulting with social and community service agencies, they have identified emerging needs for people who live in poverty, seniors, and support for the front-line community service workers who continue to provide non-medical essential services to those needing it the most. For more info, to donate to the United Way Relief Fund or to access additional resources, visit the United Way website.

“For so many of us, the temporary closures, disruption of services and economical, social and cultural impacts of this virus will be felt beyond this time of crisis response, and it is to this end we appeal to all of you to give in this time of need,” says Kahir Lalji, Executive Director of United Way SIBC. “Please consider giving your time, your resources, or your knowledge so we can ensure we not only get through this but that we can rebuild our communities. Many of the services being offered to those that need it the most have been compromised. We need your help. During this difficult time, I send wishes for safety, health, and a return to stability across the Southern Interior and throughout the world.”

Working with community and corporate partners, United Way has identified the following needs, while anticipating they will continue to grow:

Basic needs – ensure people have access to life’s essentials, such as food and shelter.

Help for seniors – ensure that while vulnerable people are isolated, they are also supported.

Capacity for community services – ensure that community partners can continue to do their vital local work.

Mental health support – enable and support system navigation services such as BC211.ca

Support for volunteers – there are amazing people rallying to support others – they need our help too.

United Way has launched this initiative with support from community partners to help with coordination efforts and raise funds, resources and awareness for the needs of the most vulnerable. For those that prefer to volunteer and/or donate items, the site links them to a new Community Marketplace and volunteer opportunities hosted by Do Some Good. The Community Marketplace enables community members and charities to connect and exchange items and services.

The relief fund is hosted by local fundraising platform, Trellis.org where local champions can easily create third party fundraisers that go directly to their charity of choice. They also have a suite of resources for creating virtual fundraisers as charities are forced to cancel any in-person events in the foreseeable future.