The Victoria Foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund distributed grants totalling $305,000 to four Cowichan Valley organizations. (file)

Cowichan Valley charities awarded $305,000 from Victoria Foundation

Rapid Relief Fund has raised $5M to help during COVID-19 pandemic

The Victoria Foundation’s Rapid Relief Fund distributed grants totalling $305,000 to four Cowichan Valley organizations last month to help combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable residents of the South Island who are less prepared to deal with the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic, creating a greater need for community-based social supports,” Victoria Foundation director of communications Robert Janus explained. “So far, the Rapid Relief Fund has received close to 14,000 donations, totalling almost $5.4 million dollars, all of which is being deployed to South Island charities as quickly as possible.”

The fifth round of grants from the Rapid Relief Fund consisted of $650,000 in total, with nearly half that amount going to Cowichan Valley charities.

The Cowichan branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association received $220,000 of that amount, to go toward the regional response to homelessness. The Hiiye’yu Lelum (House of Friendship) Society received $60,000 to provide support for Indigenous and other communities, the Cowichan Neighbourhood House Association received $15,000 for food access, and the Cowichan Women Against Violence Society got $10,000 to increase counselling hours for children, youth and families.

The Rapid Relief Fund was established by the Victoria Foundation, the Times Colonist and the Jawl Foundation in late March, with the goal of raising $1 million for coronavirus emergency relief. A month later, it had raised more than $5 million, and the goal is now up to $6 million.

Donations to the Rapid Relief Fund can me made by credit card online, as well as by cheque, PayPal, telephone or gifts of securities. Visit www.RapidReliefFund.ca for more information.

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