Using recent real-life experiences, the United Way of Greater Victoria aims to up its game uniting philanthropic leaders and local businesses with a Local Love Virtual Cafe webinar series.
“The need and demand for social services is only going to grow and put extreme pressure on an already fragile system post COVID-19,” says Mark Breslauer, United Way CEO. “Now, more than ever, we need collaborators and innovators, united in our passion to transform local lives. This is why the focus of our first Local Love Cafe is looking to the future. What is the state of Greater Victoria’s social safety net and what will recovery and resilience look like post COVID-19?”
As communities across Canada focus on recovery and resiliency, United Way’s donor-centric approach emphasizes the need to collaborate with local leaders on innovative solutions. Recent collaborations with Accent Inns, the Bay Centre and the Scale Collaborative with its survive and thrive program for local not-for-profits and social enterprises were all launched in this spirit.
“United Way has done so much good with their Local Love campaign,” said Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns. “They literally came to our rescue when people started calling the Accent Inns front desk wanting to pay for part of a hotel stay for a frontline worker. Over a weekend, we forged a partnership that has helped pay for over 1,200 room nights for frontline workers who needed to self-isolate away from their families. It is a tremendous feeling to be able to tell a nurse who could not afford a hotel bill on top of all their regular bills, that their stay is being covered by the generosity of their community. A lot of tears have been shed around here.”
The Local Love in a Global Crisis campaign has raised $1.2 million thanks to individuals, businesses and government partnerships and all donations will stay local to improve lives.
The campaign ensures people have access to life’s essentials including food. These funds also support seniors while they are isolated, help community partners do their vital work, and support mental health and addictions by enabling crisis lines and other remote counselling tools.
Examples of United Way funded community partners who had to re-imagine how they provide services and received funding from United Way’s Local Love fund include Bridges for Women, where funding enabled them to transition to remote services, including the delivery of online programs and counselling services.
Funding support for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society enables the deployment of a highly trained field team to proactively call seniors in Greater Victoria affected by a blood cancer in order to conduct a reassurance check-in and evaluate the individual’s needs.
Funding support for the Fairfield Community Association launched a collaborative initiative representing the Coalition of Neighbourhood Houses.
Visit uwgv.ca for details.