Vernon’s Upper Room Mission is one of 13 charities approved for some of the $113,200 grants from Community Foundation of North Okanagan and United Way Southern Interior BC, May 28, 2020. (Contributed)

$113K boost for North Okanagan charities on COVID-19 frontline

Partnership between United Way and Community Foundation supports organizations from Vernon to Revelstoke

Relief is coming for 13 North Okanagan charities that are directly dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

A partnership between the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO) and United Way Southern Interior BC (UWSIBC) has injected $113,200 into programs and agencies between Vernon and Revelstoke.

CFNO and UWSIBC joined forces after the pandemic was declared. The two jumped into action to launch a funding appeal knowing a collective response would provide a more substantial impact.

“After reaching out to community and charity partners, we discovered that many were experiencing dire circumstances and needed help immediately,” UWSIBC executive director Kahir Lalji said.

“Heartfelt thanks to the many donors who’ve contributed to the Relief Fund and to all those who continue to provide essential frontline social and community service during the pandemic.”

The two organizations launched a combined application and expedited the grant-review process to find the most pressing charities and causes to fund in the first phase of allocations.

Those selected include essential supplies for families in need, support for vulnerable women, technology upgrades and program adaptations so organizations can adhere to physical distancing requirements while continuing to serve clients safely.

“The guiding principle for this partnership is to mobilize funds to help quickly without letting overly onerous application procedures slow us down,” CFNO executive director Leanne Hammond said.

“This is a time for trust-based philanthropy and collaboration. Ask charities what they need to help people, get them the resources to do it, and get out of their way.”

The UWSIBC ECSF applications are being accepted from registered charities and other qualified donees until June 26, 2020, with allocations announced in July: http://unitedwaysibc.com/ecsf

CFNO applications are being accepted until July 27, 2020, on the national portal: https://cfc-fcc.smapply.ca/prog/ECSF/

Funding has been approved for the following North Okanagan, Columbia, and Shuswap agencies:

  • BrainTrust Canada
  • Canadian Mental Health Association (Vernon)
  • Community Connections Society (Revelstoke)
  • Community Dental Access Centre (Vernon)
  • Good Food Box North Okanagan
  • Enderby and District Community Resource Centre
  • Habitat for Humanity Vernon
  • HOPE Outreach
  • North Okanagan Friendship Centre
  • Independent Living Vernon
  • Kindale Developmental Association (Vernon)
  • Salvation Army Vernon
  • Vernon Upper Room Mission
  • Whitevalley Community Resource Centre (Lumby)

READ MORE: Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

READ MORE: 35 per cent of students returning to Vernon schools, survey says


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