Help the most vulnerable as we respond to COVID-19.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic.
We can all make a difference by doing the basics – wash our hands, maintain social distance, avoid busy places, self-isolate if we’ve been travelling, and stay home if you’re sick.
In the face of this health crisis, we are amazed by the acts of kindness we are seeing across the region. Neighbours helping neighbours to buy groceries and supplies. Strangers supporting strangers as people voluntarily self-isolate to protect the broader community.
Everyone has an important role to play.
We will get through this together
We know that in our region many people could not, and cannot, afford to adequately prepare for how COVID-19 is affecting their family. Many do not have supports, should they need to self-isolate. Those who already face barriers—issues like poverty, homelessness and social isolation—need even more help during this time. The needs will continue to evolve. But, as you protect your family and those closest to you to keep them healthy, we urge you to think of those who may need the help of their neighbours.
Together we can keep our community strong.
Our commitment to community is stronger than ever
United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island funds a network of programs and services that help people in need. And we will continue to be there to support our community and support our partner agencies as this situation evolves.
But we know that demand for support now more than ever, far surpasses what is available.
If you are able, by supporting United Way you can provide:
To support those who are already vulnerable as they are isolated.
Access to life’s essentials, such as food.
Enabling crisis lines and system navigation services that benefit us all.
So community partners can continue their vital local work.
At United Way Central & Northern Vancouver Island, the health and safety of our communities is our priority.
Our staff are busy working hard to help our communities. We are mobilizing our resources to best serve our communities and help to keep our neighbours safe and healthy. To stay engaged with our work follow our updates on Facebook, visit our website and sign up for our e-news.
We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation as the World Health Organization is now terming it a pandemic.
Because we want to support our staff and partners to be safe and healthy we have implemented the following procedures and resources:
To help limit the spread of COVID-19 and support efforts to promote social distancing, United Way’s office will be closed to the public effective March 17, 2020, until further notice.
As a duty of care organization, we recognize our role in ensuring all our communities are getting the support they need during this critical time. As such, most United Way team members will be working remotely and will continue to be available by email, phone, or virtually.
United Way public events scheduled for March and April have been cancelled, postponed, or will be accommodated online. Events scheduled for May or later will be determined in the coming weeks
Social Isolation – You Aren’t Alone
During this time of social isolation, it could lead to feelings of disconnection so here are some ways to stay in touch with family and friends while keeping yourself and your community safe.
Now is a good time to start a contact phone list in your community of folks that need extra support. Consider starting a Facebook group to share information and resources. Feeling connected is vital to our well-being.
Reach out and let people know you’re thinking about them.
This can be as simple as:
· Making time with friends for real-time phone conversations
· If you’re online use Skype or Zoom to check-in
· Send messages of support through social media
· Check in over text
· Get some fresh air and invite a neighbour along. Getting outside is still safe and encouraged.
· Go to trusted news sources for information
Concerns surrounding COVID-19 are at an unprecedented level across the globe. Please get your information from reputable, evidence-based sources such as Government of Canada, Island Health, BC Ministry of Health, and the BC Centre for Disease Control. Please follow us on Facebook for updates and resources.
Our Vancouver Island community is strong, resilient, and connected. We are known for working together and supporting each other in difficult times. Please take care of yourself. And thank you for taking care of one another!
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