Rapid Relief Fund delivers $1 million to community groups

Donate online at RapidReliefFund.ca. More options below.  

The Rapid Relief Fund has announced just over $1 million in contributions to local service agencies. Some of the money is going to smaller groups that play critical roles, said Zaman Velji, chairman of the board for the Victoria Foundation, which launched the fund along with the Jawl Foundation and the Times Colonist. Since March 21, the fund has raised almost $5 million.

Getting funds to smaller groups ensures help goes to as many people as possible, Velji said. The focus is on “addressing the weakest links in our chain of social support at this time of heightened need,” he said.

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Among the contributions is $393,000 for family services and supports, including $120,000 for the Downtown Blanshard Advisory Committee, operating out of the Quadra Village Community Centre, which will use the money to offer childcare for essential-service workers who do not have access to free childcare and programs.

Other family services and supports grants include:

• $82,000 to Hulitan Family and Community Services Society — Help for such needs as navigating government financial supports and family programs.

• $84,000 to Surrounded by Cedar Child & Family Services Society — Help that includes family programs for stay-at-home learning.

• $100,000 to Victoria Association for Community Living — Support for family members with cognitive disabilities and increased support of group homes.

• $7,000 to Victoria Single Parent Resource Society — Counselling and mental-health support, and food delivery to isolated families.

Donations in the category of food access and supply are going to the Anawim Companions Society ($5,000), the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Victoria Foundation ($107,000), Silver Threads Service ($22,000), the Shelbourne Community Kitchen Society ($20,000), the Victoria Community Food Hub Society ($75,000) and the Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society ($60,000).

For homelessness prevention and financial supports, funds are going to the Pacific Housing Advisory Association ($130,000), the Ready to Rent B.C. Association ($10,000), the Sooke Shelter Society ($5,000) and the Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health ($25,000).

Funding for mental-health support and counselling services will go to Esquimalt Neighbourhood House ($35,000), the Greater Victoria Citizens Counselling Centre ($16,000), the Sooke Family Resource Society ($35,000), the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees Association ($35,000) and the Vancouver Island Men’s Therapy Centre Society ($32,000).

jwbell@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.

victoriafoundation.bc.ca/rapid-relief-fund-disbursements

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