Last spring, West Island Community Shares raised $1.3 million to help its various community organizations remain financially solvent in order to keep helping area residents in need.
With the onslaught of COVID 19, traditional fundraisers have been shelved so WICS created the Solidarity Fund allowing West Islanders to donate online to help those in immediate need due to an adjustment in employment or through food security concerns.
According to a recent statement by WICS, the donations to the Solidarity Fund have “created in response to the COVID-19 crisis have already been used to support the activities of our community groups. Thanks to the generosity of West Islanders, ANEB – who provides support to people living with an eating disorder – increased their operating hours to meet the 137% increase in demand for their texting services.”
Area food banks like West Island Mission and On Rock Community Services, had an increase in need for food baskets “increase between 30% and 50% in only a few weeks. The Fund helped them hire more staff, acquire PPEs and storage equipment, and buy missing staple items as well as fresh food to provide a balanced basket to those in need.”
But the need is still prescient to help as non-profit organizations like Meals On Wheels learn to adapt to a new way of doing things. Volunteer West Island is currently “ working on a plan to safely reopen community kitchens so they can restart their “Meals on Wheels” program that reaches isolated seniors.”
Carrefour 6-12, that helps young people in need, “ is working on a new program which will integrate targeted learning modules during their summer camp activities in order to help the children catch up on missed schoolwork.”
In order for these NGOs to succeed, WICS is calling anyone that can help to donate to the Solidarity Fund online via www.communityshares.ca.