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 the community and will continue to lead recovery and rebuild from COVID-19.
UWGV focused its efforts over the last year on priority areas, developing partnerships to address emerging trends. Partnerships include meal delivery for isolated seniors through the More than Meals program; a safe haven for children under five dealing with trauma through the Little Phoenix Daycare project with Greater Victoria Family Services and VIRCS; helping not-for-profits pivot to provide virtual services through the Survive and Thrive initiative with Scale Collaborative. With the Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses, they created a digital help desk and tech lending library for families and online parenting programs, mental health programs for youth, and food security programs. UWGV also collaborated with mental health service providers such as the Greater Victoria Psychosocial Rehabilitation – Systems Navigation Working Group to help reduce barriers and strengthen access to counselling services, outreach, social connections and peer support. The federal government entrusted UWGV to manage and distribute $1.5 million through the Emergency Community Support Fund. UWGV funded 55 agencies and 60 programs (16 cofunded with Victoria Foundation). UWGV distributed $167,000 through Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program impacting eight organizations serving seniors. Working with Bell Canada, UWGV distributed 750 cellphones to people in need across southern Vancouver Island. UWGV also facilitated distribution of 32,000 masks to people in need throughout the region as part of the One Million Masks Initiative.
As part of National Volunteer Week April 18 to 24, UWGV recognized its volunteers from board members to community partner workplaces.
More than 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, 100 volunteers have stepped up to help deliver meals and provide a friendly hello to local isolated seniors through the program.
To learn more or donate visit uwgv.ca.
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