United Way of Northern BC has initiated a relief fund to help the ‘most vulnerable’ during the coronavirus epidemic.
In a March 20 news release, the charity and fundraising organization in Prince George said, “after an initial discussion with many different social service agencies across Northern BC, various needs have been identified, particularly for the most vulnerable.”
Seniors isolation, food security, capacity for community services, mental health and addictions and volunteer support are the needs that the organization is focusing on.
United Way explained these requirements in their press release, and said they anticipate these needs will continue to grow.
- Seniors isolation: This is a long running issue particularly for the rural and remote region. Unfortunately, the current situation has amplified this exponentially and these seniors don’t have lack of socialization, they need food, prescriptions and personal care items to sustain a healthy way of being.
- Food Security: People need food and we are getting reports of food banks closing or having no food or funding to help. Many programs across the north that need to close due to social distancing. are also the opportunities that people have to get necessary food and care items. This is being reported across the region.
- Capacity for Community Services: A significant number of responses from communities include reduction of hours, closures of programs, or complete closure of the service agency. Resources would help them continue to do their vital work.
- Mental Health and Addictions: Not only is there more stress on the entire population at this time, our population that deals with mental health and addictions issues has become particularly vulnerable, especially with their supportive programs needing to close their doors.
- Volunteer Support: While there are some volunteers moving into isolation, there are others who want to help out. We are hearing that critical programs are at risk because their volunteer support has dropped or completely gone away. We are looking for opportunities to deploy volunteers where they are needed.
“Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts taken together in our community and across the region can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges and protect the most vulnerable. UWNBC truly hopes that the development of the COVID-19 Relief Fund will help in these efforts,” the charity organization said.
To donate to the United Way of Northern BC’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, visit the website at unitedwaynbc.ca/donate and select the COVID-19 — Fund.