Dave Obee: YES! Fund hits $2 million in less than a week

Donate online at rapidrelieffund.ca. More options below.

The Rapid Relief Fund hit $2 million in less than a week. Amazing, inspiring, and a huge reason for hope, which is something we all need in these difficult days of COVID-19.

We did it. “We” being all of us, our community, the best place in Canada in so many ways.

They did it as well. “They” being the group of local entrepreneurs and tech industry types who came together with $355,000 to match your donations, knowing that their generous offer would be enough to put the fund over the top once again.

The offer was announced on Wednesday morning, with a deadline of Sunday evening, but by 1 p.m. Friday, we had $355,000 in new donations, which meant a $710,000 boost for the fund.

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What’s next? Another matching offer. But more on that later.

Congratulations to everyone for the great effort so far, and thanks to everyone as well. That means you and you and you.

But special thanks should be given to the members of the group of matching donors, the ones who inspired many others to donate, pushed the rest of us to donate more as well, and set the stage for a second matching campaign.

The $355,000 in matching funds came from Tiny, the Lake family’s All One Fund, the Jawl Foundation, Cork and Barrel Spirit Merchants Inc., Rajiv Khaneja and Sparklit Software, Frosty Pop, Toro Consulting, Pilothouse, and a local entrepreneur who would rather be anonymous.

The fund was launched a week ago by the Victoria Foundation, the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist, thanks to the inspiring commitment of Robert Jawl.

When we first started talking about raising money, we had the outrageous notion that we could raise $1 million in one month — and we were going to use that wording in our campaign. In the hours before we launched the fund, we decided to go for more, namely $1 million in one week.

We hit that target within 36 hours, and started working on the second million. And we — again, referring to the entire community — have done it. We raised $2.4 million in less than one week, and we’ve just begun.

I love living here. I love the generosity and confidence of my friends and neighbours. But I have never been more proud to live in Greater Victoria and on Vancouver Island.

And now it’s on to $3 million, and there is no doubt that we can do it. There is also no doubt that we need to do it, because there is a huge need.

People need our help now, and we are giving it to them as quickly as possible.

Thinking of giving? It’s a great time to do so, because once again, you can double your money.

You’re not likely to find an investment like this anywhere else these days.

The new matching offer comes from the Times Colonist Christmas Fund. Every year the non-profit society that runs the fund collects money for the needy, and distributes it in the community. The terms of reference do not say that the money can only go out in the Christmas season; it is to be handed out when there is a need.

So, for the first time in memory, the Christmas Fund will be put to work in the spring. We are donating $100,000 to the Rapid Relief Fund to match and encourage other donations. The offer is open until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, but if there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that every goal is beaten long before the time runs out.

Christmas in April might seem like a strange idea, but the spirit of giving should be with us year-round. And there is no better time to give, is there?

Please give to the Rapid Relief Fund. The community needs to be healed.

dobee@timescolonist.com

HOW TO DONATE

Tax receipts will be issued.

• Online: rapidrelieffund.ca

• Phone: 250-381-5532

• Mail: Send cheques to the Victoria Foundation at #200-703 Broughton St., Victoria, B.C., V8W 1E2

Please ensure cheques are made out to the Victoria Foundation. Note the ‘Rapid Relief Fund’ in the memo line or in a cover letter. If you are open to receiving your tax receipt by PDF, please include an email address with your donation.

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