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The Rapid Relief Fund is giving out another $650,000 to groups in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic — with $305,000 of that earmarked for the Cowichan Valley.
The largest grant this time is $220,000 for the Cowichan Valley Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, to be used for a co-ordinated response by more than 17 Cowichan organizations to deal with homelessness in the context of COVID-19.
Food remains a key area of concern, with new grants going to the 9-10 Club in downtown Victoria ($32,000), the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association ($15,000) and the Seniors Serving Seniors Association of B.C. ($20,000), which delivers food and prescriptions to isolated seniors.
The latest grants from the fund will also help with physical- and mental-health supports and prevention of homelessness.
“As we have been funding more and more organizations, we’re getting to be able to understand some of the more nuanced aspects of the needs,” said Rob Janus of the Victoria Foundation, which launched the fund with the Jawl Foundation and Times Colonist.
That’s where the voluntary advisory group, made up of community leaders, that assesses how the fund is distributed really makes its mark, he said.
“We’re able to really draw on that expertise.”
The group not only ensures that the money goes where it can do the most good, “but it’s also finding out some of those organizations that aren’t as easy to understand in the context of a pandemic, where their needs are.”
That ensures the fund is spent wisely and quickly, Janus said.
Here are the other groups receiving grants.
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria — $105,000
• Connections Place Society — $37,000
• Cowichan Woman Against Violence Society — $10,000
• Family Services of Greater Victoria Society — $11,000
• Friends of Living and Learning Through Loss Society — $25,000
• Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship) Society — $60,000
• Marie Esther Society (Mount St. Mary Hospital).
• PEERS Victoria Resources Society — $35,000
• Threshold Housing Society — $50,000
HOW TO DONATE
Tax receipts will be issued. If you are open to receiving your tax receipt by PDF, please include an email address with your donation.
• Online: RapidReliefFund.ca
• Phone: 250-381-5532
• Mail: Send cheques (made out to the Victoria Foundation) to RapidRelief Fund, Victoria Foundation, 200-703 Broughton St., Victoria V8W 1E2
The Rapid Relief Fund was created by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation, and the Times Colonist to help people in need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. CHEK Television, Coast Outdoor Advertising and Black Press are helping to boost awareness. Every dollar received from donations goes out as grants to the community.
Donations are being distributed through the Victoria Foundation.