Sandra Richardson: Donors the key in fund’s successful achievement

It has been one month since I last wrote to you about the Rapid Relief Fund and the enthusiasm we were seeing to help support our most vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back then, the fund was only a week old, but had already passed the $2-million mark and we were astounded by the early response. Well, here we are one month later, and we’ve passed the $5-million mark. It’s extraordinary to think of how far we’ve come and of the continued generosity that has enabled us to get there.

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It’s this generosity you see reflected in this past week’s announcement of a further $1 million in disbursements to agencies in our region and beyond. The continued support is now reaching smaller organizations, assisting specific groups of residents, which in turn helps take the burden off larger organizations and public supports, easing the strains of the system for all.

During the truly heartwarming Rock for Relief concert broadcast by CHEK-TV, we saw 2,700 donations totalling nearly $500,000 donated to the Rapid Relief Fund. This is in addition to the support shown to our friends at the Nanaimo Foundation for relief Up-Island.

I know the broadcast brought a tear to my eye, and I’m sure I’m not alone. All of us at the Victoria Foundation thank CHEK for putting this together, along with the performers. But most of all, thank you to all those who donated.

Also deserving of thanks are the many organizations, businesses and individuals who have started matching campaigns, putting up substantial sums of money to inspire others. Most recently we’ve seen the members of the Victoria Foundation’s Gadsden Initiative and Thrifty Foods step up with $100,000 matches each.

The matching campaigns have been essential to the success of the fund, and we thank all who have come forward to start them.

And most of all, it’s you, the donors, who have made this all possible. So far, we have seen over 13,000 individual donations come in, each and every one vital to the fund and to our community. We have seen everyone from the youngest of our donors putting their allowance towards the fund, to our oldest donor who wanted to give back at 101 years of age. It has been remarkable.

The Victoria Foundation is your foundation. We only exist because of you. We have been a part of this community for over 80 years and we pride ourselves on listening to the needs of our community and making sure our actions address those needs. We are here when times get tough and we will still be here, serving our community, after we get through this. You make this possible. Thank you.

To learn more and to donate to the Rapid Relief Fund visit

Sandra Richardson is CEO of the Victoria Foundation.

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