Powell River organizations launch community response fund

Partners create initiative to support frontline service groups

Three organizations have joined in partnership to create the Powell River Community Response Fund.

United Way Powell River and District, Powell River Community Foundation and First Credit Union created the fund to provide relief for frontline service organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an announcement made via media release on May 20. Regional social planner Kai Okazaki, representing City of Powell River, qathet Regional District and Tla’amin Nation, will also support the group, which will evolve as the fund grows and its focus is expanded.

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“There has been tremendous work done in the past few months, bringing some of the best qualities in all of us,” stated Okazaki. “We hope the community response fund can help continue the great work by bringing together a partnership of local organizations for people in our region.”

Initial contributions were made possible through a combination of local and federal government support, according to the release. First Credit Union contributed to the fund on behalf of its members, while the United Way and Powell River Community Foundation serve as intermediaries for the Federal Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) and will leverage the partnership to disburse funding into the community.

“Together, the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada and United Way Centraide Canada are collaborating with the Government of Canada to flow ECSF support to those who need it most right now,” stated United Way Powell River and District chair Charlene Reinisch. “By working together we can ensure our community can support our most vulnerable.”

The fund will support local community service charities and not-for-profits that provide frontline services to vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19. Services may include food security; financial wellness; health and hygiene; home care or personal support services; information and navigation; legal supports; mental health and wellness; shelter; safety; social inclusion and learning; and transportation.

“People want to support one another during tough times, and we encourage them to participate in this unique initiative,” stated  First Credit Union CEO Linda Bowyer. “The Community Response Fund is an opportunity to work collaboratively to strengthen our community’s long term resiliency.”

The fund currently sits at just over $180,000. Partners in the fund are calling on organizations and individuals to give at prcommunityfoundation.com/community-response-fund or by mailing a cheque to Powell River Community Foundation, PO Box 335, Powell River, BC, V8A 5C2.

“This growing coalition of philanthropy, the private sector, government, and individuals represents the very best of all sectors in our community,” stated Powell River Community Foundation president Ross Cooper. “Powell River is a generous, collaborative community that has a history of facing challenges head on, and that’s what we’re doing now.”

Funding will be offered as flexible operating grants. Applications for funding are available at prcommunityfoundation.com/community-response-fund.   

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