Dave Obee: Where the Rapid Relief Fund donations are going

Donate at RapidReliefFund.ca. More options below. 

The money keeps coming in, and it’s going out just as quickly.

The Rapid Relief Fund — for those most acutely hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic — has been a huge success. We are on the edge of $4 million donated in just two and a half weeks.

That money is being turned around in record time, given to local charities dealing directly with those in need.

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Your money is working in local food banks. It is helping emergency shelters stay open. It is providing child care. It is providing essential services to those in self isolation.

It is providing support for those who need help paying their rent or their utilities.

It has even paid for N95 face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves, items that are in high demand as we try to push back against the coronavirus.

You’ll be reading and hearing more in the next few days about where the money is going. As the fund drive continues, we will be able to put more money to work in more communities on Vancouver Island.

Your money is making a huge difference. You might never meet the people you have helped, and they might never have the chance to say thanks. But rest assured, your donations matter.

Our most recent matching program, a $200,000 challenge from the Kirzinger family, hit its target after just 38 hours. More such matches are on the way — and of course, we will always be open to more matching offers.

The fund was established by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist, and we are all committed to continuing this work as long as there is a need.

Why do so many people give to the Rapid Relief Fund? There are many reasons.

“I am 87 years old, safely staying at home but my thoughts and prayers are with the many people who need help. I hope this cheque helps a little,” one donor said.

“Thanks to everyone keeping the most vulnerable in our community fed and safer,” said another.

“I have much admiration for your foundation and for the people that keep our city safe and still running,” read another note. “The medical staff are unbelievable. I am a senior [86], but I wanted to help a little.”

More information is on the Rapid Relief Fund website, including a page with information on recipients and how they are using the money. Organizations looking for money are encouraged to provide information about their needs and the services they offer.

Information submitted there will help the Victoria Foundation and its community advisers decide where to allocate donations.

Thanks yet again for taking us to $4 million. Can we reach $5 million? Let’s hope so — the need is too great to stop now.

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.

Donations are being distributed through the Victoria Foundation.

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