COVID-19 Local Response and Recovery Impact

The pandemic has posed additional challenges to the already-existing gaps within our community.  After consulting with our community partners, United Way stepped up to take action immediately. So many communities, charities and vulnerable populations were disproportionately affected and as we gathered feedback, an emergency response plan was implemented.

The impacts of our local response are being felt throughout the Southern Interior.  Together, we are rebuilding and recovering from the dire effects on vital programs serving our most vulnerable in our communities. 

COVID19 Relief Impact

In collaboration with the local foundations, we’ve been able to support front-line community service workers as they provide essential non-medical support to the most vulnerable in our communities.

“I am so thankful for the extra support that we have been given. I am a grandmother raising my grandson. His mother passed away when he was three. The help and support that we have been given with good food box, gift cards and activities for my grandson has been very appreciated. During the time of COVID19 has been very difficult for me because of my own health problems. This support eased the worry and struggle. Thank you.”

– Tess from Falkland BC,  a participant of the North Okanagan Friendship Centre’s emergency relief food program for Indigenous families

COVID19 Local Relief Investments and Programs

Collectively, more than $200,000* was invested in over 35 charity programs across our region to support emerging needs due to the pandemic. The addition of provincial and federal funding enabled vital program expansion and investments to support seniors and all BC residents through the 211 service.

 Basic Needs and Supplies

Rent payment immediate relief for 7 families suffering job loss
50 personal sanitation kits handed out within two weeks for people with limited access to services
200+ weekly grocery hampers and mid-day meals delivered for food-insecure families, within 3 months of quarantine

Help for Seniors

Expansion of 211 phone service across our region (through provincial government funding)
Physical and virtual capacity support for community senior and health support hub
1,604 isolated seniors and 730 volunteers connected for grocery runs

Capacity for Community Services

Transitioning 10+ rural community programs into virtual delivery of community services
Setting up physical safety measures  allowing 12 programs to continue doing vital work

Mental Health Support

Supporting regional mental health crisis lines, which saw a 60% increase in volume
1,200+ distress phone calls de-escalated and supported by highly-trained volunteer crisis line responders
50+ virtual counselling sessions conducted for 700+ individuals experiencing mental distress

Support for Volunteers

Streamlined volunteer training for 75 newly recruited crisis line responders across our region
Training 300+ newly engaged volunteers for continuous provision of vital services

COVID19 Local Relief Fund Investments

*In partnership with the local community foundations, over $300,000 in relief funds were invested across our region.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program.

“As a Crisis Line Responder, I can tell you that there has been a large increase, not only in the number of calls, but in the distress I hear in the voices of those who need support during this COVID19 pandemic. Your gift has allowed me to adapt and overcome many of the challenges I face during this time. I am able to employ new systems and benefit from increased training so that I can safely and efficiently serve an ever-growing number of individuals who need help.”

– Jeff, a volunteer with CMHA Vernon

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Community Partners

Thanks to the local donors, corporate partners and community foundations for collaborating with us to rapidly roll out the COVID-19 Relief Fund. Together, we can make a greater impact on local lives and help those who need is most.

COVID-19 Relief Fund Donors

Show your local love and please give generously today.