“What a caring city we live in. The compassion and thoughtfulness behind all these donations is a miracle – indeed, to spread hope and love at this particular time is crucial.”
Called upon to help in face of COVID-19 challenges, Greater Victorians responded.
For some, their Rapid Relief Fund donations recognized the needs of isolated seniors or hungry families; for others, concern for victims of domestic violence who suddenly had restricted access to their usual support system. Others gave in memory of someone who would have stepped forward themselves, given the opportunity.
“I give in memory of my parents who like many ordinary citizens were not able to give large sums of money but gave of themselves and in support, friendship, lessons for citizenship and other little ways,” one donor wrote to the Victoria Foundation, which is administering the Fund.
Launched by a coalition of Greater Victoria business and philanthropic partners in response to the immediate needs created by COVID-19, the Rapid Relief Fund collected an amazing $1 million in less than 36 hours.
Those same donations were then quickly distributed to local charities serving those in need, approved by the Victoria Foundation’s Board of Directors. Today, nearly two months after the Fund launched, grants to local charities have totalled $5,646,700, including $550,000 in grants distributed last week.
Moving toward the next phase of recovery
Today, as businesses, charities and the community pivot to address the next phase of our COVID-19 reality, the Victoria Foundation also offers a simple way for donors to continue supporting those essential local organizations.
From senior care to youth services, the longstanding Vital Victoria Fund supports projects, programs and services that are among the most important in our community, allowing the Foundation to proactively respond to critical needs as they arise.
For the coming months, the Fund will support Greater Victoria’s recovery from the effects of the pandemic.
“The Vital Victoria Fund has always allowed us to support the areas of greatest need within our community,” says Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “For the next six to 18 months, as the effects of COVID-19 continue to unfold, grants from the Fund will be viewed through the lens of recovery efforts and building short- and long-term resilience for our local charities.”
Providing more help where it’s needed
Last week, the Victoria Foundation and United Way Greater Victoria also announced they’ll jointly administer local distribution of the federal government’s new Emergency Community Support Fund, providing additional much-needed assistance to charitiesserving vulnerable populations.
Through the ECSF, the two organizations will invest $1.6 million in local registered charities and qualified donees. Organizations can apply for funding through a single application process, with applications accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis through July 27 or until funds are fully allocated.
Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation, managing charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The Capital Region’s largest non-government funder, the Foundation distributes proceeds from funds as grants for charitable or educational purposes.