Dave Obee: A match made for our times

Donate online at RapidReliefFund.ca. More options below. 

As I write this, we’re about $600,000 shy of our next million, our fourth million, in this amazing drive to provide help through the Rapid Relief Fund.

And I have a new match challenge to report — this time, it’s a $200,000 commitment from the Kirzinger family.

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These matches are simple, really; they give you a quick chance to double your money.

Pam and Dave Kirzinger have said they will match every dollar donated, up to a $200,000 maximum, as long as the donations arrive by 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

It’s a great gift to the fund and the community, just like the gifts that so many of you have given since we started the fund less than two weeks ago.

All of us have our own reasons for donating, although there can often be a common thread: A love of our community.

Why did the Kirzingers do it?

“Three years ago, we moved back to Victoria after almost 40 years away,” they said.

“During that time, we always stayed close to our family and friends who remained, with many trips ‘home’. Living here again reminds us of what a great community Victoria and the rest of the island is, a community that supports each other in times of need.

“We are happy to do what we can, and encourage others who can afford it to help everyone get through these difficult times,” Pam and Dave Kirzinger said, in offering their money.

The money we are raising is being put to work, as quickly as possible, to help those in need. Need takes many forms, and these days involves a wide variety of people.

Recipients of the money must commit to fast action, which means the money is already changing lives.

Several groups have been given money to improve access to food, but the range of support being given a boost is amazing, from housing and shelter to helping people deal with social isolation.

Recipients have included the Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Vancouver Island, the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, Cowichan Green Community, the Sooke Food Bank, and the Together Against Poverty Society.

As more money comes in, we will give it to more recipients. This work will continue as long as there is a need.

To determine how best to use the money, we are continuing to assess the needs in the community, and the capacities of organizations to address them. The Victoria Foundation has enlisted community advisers from across the region to help them with this.

Decisions on the next round of disbursements will be made within days.

For more information, go to the Rapid Relief Fund website. You will find a page with information on recipients to date, and how they are using the money, as well as a page where organizations can provide information about their needs and the services they’re providing.

Information submitted there will help the Victoria Foundation and the community advisers.

The fund was established by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist, and is designed to raise money and get it to the people who need it as quickly as possible. The coronavirus pandemic brought a flood of issues to the entire Island, and we are here to help.

Your donations will be greatly appreciated. Your donations will make a difference.

dobee@timescolonist.com

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.

How the donations are being distributed through the Victoria Foundation.

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