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United Way directs $400,000 to organizations helping people through the pandemic

$381,000 from federal government supplemented by $29,000 from United Way donors
Hearts in the window at a business on Selby Street in Nanaimo earlier this year. (News Bulletin file photo)

As the pandemic persists, more money is being directed to organizations helping vulnerable people throughout the region.

The United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island announced in a press release this week that 57 organizations were approved for funding or more financial assistance for previously funded programs.

The more than $400,000 being directed includes $381,000 from the federal government’s emergency community support fund and $29,000 from United Way’s corporate donors.

The press release notes that charities in the region are adapting their front-line services during the pandemic to support people who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, and adds that agencies are also seeing increased demand for their services.

“We are proud to work in partnership with the federal government and help our local partner organizations carry out their vital work providing emergency support to individuals and communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability,” said Signy Madden, executive director of the United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island in the press release. “Since the pandemic was declared, our community partner agencies have been working endlessly to ensure that our vulnerable neighbours are getting the help they need –but the need keeps increasing. We have to continue to work together to make sure that no one is left behind.”

Some of the organizations that received funding include Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Vancouver Island, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island, Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, Nanaimo Brain Injury Society, Haven Society, Nanaimo Community Hospice Society, Nanaimo Family Life Association, Nanaimo Literacy Association, Nanaimo Youth Services Association and the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society.

The press release notes that the federal government’s pandemic response funding “has been crucial to helping our communities during this crisis,” but the funding is not guaranteed to last into next year and social service organizations continue to identify “everyday needs” apparent in the region.

For information about United Way and how to donate, visit

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