Thursday, March 18, 2020, Calgary, Alberta — Today, United Way of Calgary and Area, in partnership with The City of Calgary, launched a city-wide fundraising effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubbed the Calgary Community Response Fund, donations to the fund will enable the social services sector to continue critically important work needed to keep people safe and well during this public health crisis.

“In Calgary, our community shows its strength during our most difficult times. I’m proud every day to call this city home, but never more so than when I witness how we respond in a crisis,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “People in this city are in need and those looking to help are rising to the occasion. The Community Response Fund is a way for Calgarians to help and come together, even as we keep our physical distance. These supports and social connections are more important now than ever.”

The financial and emotional fall-out of COVID-19 has put immense pressure on our social services fabric for things like basic needs, help for seniors and those living in shelters, support for individuals self-isolating, resources and equipment for volunteers, and mental health services. The Community Response Fund will be directly allocated to support community priorities issues such as these.

“We know many people do not have a support system around them if they contract COVID-19 or need to self-isolate,” said Karen Young, President and CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area.

“Through our partnership with The City, we are pleased to provide a leadership role in establishing and managing the fund to ensure critical social services continue to be available for people when they need them. One collaborative city-wide fundraising effort makes it easier for Calgarians to contribute and ensures an effective, coordinated response to support the local community.”

While everyone is working hard to flatten the curve by adhering to public health measures and all governments are providing unprecedented financial aid to help individuals and businesses affected, more is needed.

“A holistic approach that considers the financial, physical, mental, and emotional needs of our community is the best approach. That`s why we’ve asked United Way to be a strong partner during this time of crisis,” said Tom Sampson, Chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.

“We are amazed by the acts of kindness and local good we are seeing across our city. Social distancing may force us apart, but kindness and caring defies distance,” said Young. “United Way is committed to improving local lives and ensuring that no one individual is left behind. We stand united in taking care of our most vulnerable citizens and thank everyone for their support toward the safety, health, and well-being of our families, loved ones, neighbours, and community.”

Donate now to the Calgary Community Response Fund
calgaryunitedway.org/covid-response-fund

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United Way of Calgary and Area brings together donors, corporations, agencies, and governments to solve complex social issues and improve the lives of more than 150,000 people every year. Since 1940, United Way has supported agencies that assist vulnerable Calgarians. Today, United Way invests in programs and collaborations with common outcomes, brings people together to coordinate systems change, and designs solutions that address root causes to create lasting social change. Collectively, this work deepens community impact. For more information, please visit www.calgaryunitedway.org.

For more information:

Sheila Rougeau
Director of Communications
United Way of Calgary and Area
403-464-5021