The Rapid Relief Fund (rapidrelieffund.ca) surpassed $2 million on Friday — thanks in part to some large donations.
The British Columbia Investment Management Corporation contributed $75,000 with its management team adding $50,000 more. Another $100,000 was given by Ruth and Don James and the James Family Foundation.
The fund was launched last Saturday by the Times Colonist, the Victoria Foundation and the Jawl family with the goal of raising $1 million in one week for COVID-19 emergency relief in the community.
It took about 36 hours to reach that goal.
The first $1 million will go toward a range of programs and services aimed at maintaining food accessibility, support for housing and health protocols in the community.
BCI said the donation is a way to show support for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Crown corporation encourages staff to spend one business day a year working with a cause of their choice, said Gordon J. Fyfe, BCI’s chief executive officer and chief investment officer.
“As our employees are working remotely, practising physical distancing, and are unable to contribute their time, BCI’s donation allows us to fulfil our obligation to our community during this time of greatest need,” he said.
Employees also contributed individually. In recognition of their generosity, the executive management team donated an additional $50,000 of their own funds.
Ruth James of the James Family Foundation cited her 13 years volunteering with the African Children’s Bookbox Society in Tanzania.
“The power of poverty continually surprises and shocks in its affect on daily life,” she said. “Here in Canada we can learn from the incredible sense of community in Africa.
“At home encouraging expertise from the fields of public health, medicine and science to direct compassionate funding seems the wisest way to help.”
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 and Black Press are helping to boost awareness.