Good afternoon! Hope you are staying safe and well as we approach the holiday season. As the year draws to a close, and with this last update for 2020, it’s a chance to reflect on all the ways this year has progressed –challenging in unprecedented ways, and yet so inspiring and motivational at so many levels. Together, we learned so much about this community and the power of caring, compassionate, collective action. Thank you for this. You are critical to this community effort!
In this week’s update you’ll learn about the Gift of Hope, details about the second round of funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund and an interesting editorial published last week in the Globe and Mail about the charitable sector.
GIVING THE GIFT OF HOPE
With the holidays fast approaching, some of you have asked about holiday giving. Once again, this year, United Way offers the gift of hope. As a holiday gift you can make a donation on behalf of favourite teachers, colleagues -or family, friends, neighbours – anyone on your list, near or far. Donations will directly provide warm winter boots for kids, hot meals at local programs, healthy food boxes for seniors, families and students and shelter from the cold for youth.
Your recipients will know that you’re thinking about them, and you’ll know that you’re making a lasting difference in the lives of others right here in KFL&A. For more information and to give the Gift of Hope visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/giftofhope/
In addition to the Gift of Hope, you can also give inkind donations. This week, United Way KFL&A’s partnership with the Kingston Frontenacs and the Leon’s Centre continues with the community donation drive.
December 14 – 18th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bins are set up at Gate 4 at the Leon’s Centre, The Tragically Hip Way, to collect donations of warm clothing including coats, hats, mitts, socks, boots, scarves, gently used children’s clothing and boots, hygiene items and non-perishable food.
Thank you to all who took the time and effort to drop off their donations. It is clear that people are looking for ways to help people in need during the pandemic and into the holiday season. We know many of you have drives in your own workplaces or with family and friends. Please collect and drop off during the days above if you can.
For more details and a list of items to donate visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/communitydonationdrive/
Globe and Mail Opinion piece: The charities that help struggling Canadians are struggling, too
This past weekend, W. Matthew Chater, national president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Owen Charters, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, Dan Clement, president and CEO of United Way Centraide Canada, Peter Dinsdale, president and CEO of YMCA Canada and Maya Roy, CEO of YWCA Canada collaborated for an opinion piece in the Globe and Mail about the situation facing many charities right now.
“One thing is true of our organizations: We exist because communities need us,” they write, “With the second wave of COVID-19 upon us, our communities are in crisis, especially those that were struggling before the pandemic. Job loss, isolation, stress and other factors have resulted in unprecedented challenges affecting the health and well-being of the people we serve… We have adapted, but we are stretched thin – and when we struggle, Canadians struggle.”
The same is true in our own community. It is critical that we continue to work together to ensure that charities can continue to support all community members in these challenging times.
I encourage you to read the piece which you can find on the Globe and Mail website.
EMERGENCY COMMUNITY SUPPORT FUND
Local charities have received a boost of over $350,000 in federal funding to help them adapt and increase frontline services for vulnerable populations during COVID-19. This funding was delivered through a second round of funding of the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF).
Local granting was administered through the Community Foundations Kingston & Area, and United Way Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington. Both organizations saw a huge demand for this funding with grant requests far exceeding the available funding. The United Way KFL&A received requests surpassing $470,000 in asks for approximately $200,000 in available funding. These new grants are in addition to the first round of ECSF grants announced in July of 2020. This latest funding brings the total granted locally through the United Way to over $1.5 million in ECSF grants.
The needs in our community are great and will continue throughout and beyond the pandemic, but agencies and programs continue to adapt and rise to the challenge of continuing to help the most vulnerable members of our community. The United Way is grateful for this much-needed additional support through the federal government during this global crisis.
For full details visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/over-350000-granted-locally-in-second-funding-round-of-federal-emergency-community-support-fund/ and for a full list of grants including programs descriptions and funds provided through United Way KFL&A visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/grants/
Please note, the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington office will be closed from December 25, 2020 to January 3, 2021 and will reopen on January 4, 2021 at 8:30 am.
We know some of you have been waiting to make a donation. December 31 is the deadline for charitable contributions for this tax year. You can go online www.unitedwaykfla.ca/donate any time between now and midnight December 31st, or you can mail your donation prior to this date, or drop off your donation at our office before December 24th.
Thank you! Your support has changed the lives of so many impacted by this pandemic. Thank you for your continued support this year and here’s to a great 2021.
Take care. Stay safe and well! Best wishes for the holiday season.
President & CEO | United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington
You can always stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and of course, you can find videos at www.unitedwaykfla.ca/videos/ and regular updates on our website at www.unitedwaykfla.ca