The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has distributed $26,633 to local charities since the fund was launched with $20,000 from the Foundation on March 26. The fund has reached $130,114 with a target of $200,000.
Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We have received many applications for COVID-19 relief from our local charities and are working to distribute the funds as quickly as possible. We know community charitable initiatives in response to the emergency will really make use of the new targeted amount."
Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, such as seniors, and other pressing community needs as they emerge. Major donors include Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD. Over $45,000 has been received in donations from the wider community.
The following organizations have received funds from the Foundation’s Emergency Fund:
- Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association (Meadowbrook): $583 for safety equipment, including isolation gowns, a non-contact thermometer, masks and safety glasses.
- SSI Community Health Society and Salt Spring Chapter, Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice: $14,550 for manufacture of face shields, 220 isolation gowns and 700L of alcohol sanitizer. This is jointly funded with the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation, which is also contributing $14,550 for a total of $29,100.
- SSI Community Services, Emergency Supports Project: $6,071 to assist in providing day-time access to basic needs for the homeless. This includes laundry, showers, and other personal hygiene requirements, emergency food, access to internet and phone, connections to Housing First caseworkers and staff support.
- SSI Community Services, Harvest Farm Coordinator Project: $5,500 from the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation donation. The funds will assist with staffing to increase food production at the Harvest Farm and to coordinate with the agricultural community and community at large in order to increase local food production and distribution, particularly to low- to no-income earners affected by the COVID-19 emergency.
In addition, the Foundation is working to distribute food gift cards through several local charities that have identified individuals and families whom they know are in immediate need. This is made possible through the generosity of Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store. The Foundation hopes to expand this network and encourages Salt Spring charities to get in touch if they require support to help islanders needing assistance.
Donations to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund may be made at ssifoundation.ca or by mail to: Salt Spring Island Foundation, Box 244, Ganges PO, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2V9. Please indicate on your cheque that the donation is to be directed to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
The Foundation is inviting immediate applications from charities acting on their own behalf or acting on behalf of a not-for-profit organization. For full information, please visit ssifoundation.ca or contact the Foundation’s Operations Director, Shannon Cowan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While the Salt Spring Island Foundation is assisting with needs in the wider community, the Foundation also encourages community members to support the Lady Minto Hospital directly at ladymintofoundation.com/covid-19.