On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. On that day, everything changed.

As the virus started to spread to our local communities, it was clear that COVID-19 was going to impact us in ways that we were not prepared for. Many would need extra support – seniors, children, families – those who did not have a place to call home and many who would find themselves navigating support for the first time. Front-line agencies would need to shift the way services were delivered – quickly.

At United Way, we knew that we were in the best position to mobilize the community and bring together all those who wanted to help – corporate partners, community members and the social services sector. This is, in fact, what we do 365 days of the year! We sprang to action and on March 19th, 2020, launched the COVID-19 Community Response Fund (Local Love In A Global Crisis) – to help with coordination efforts and raise funds for those most vulnerable. This Fund would ensure help was available when it was needed and assist our frontline agencies in responding as quickly and efficiently as possible.

On March 30th, United Way partnered with the Guelph Community Foundation to combine our efforts and maximize our impact with the COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Together, we would ensure even more would be supported. We are extremely proud of this newly forged partnership and look forward to working together on future projects that benefit our community.

In May, we would learn that the Government of Canada would be providing further emergency funding through the Emergency Community Response Fund, and entrusting United Way as one of the key partners to handle the rapid distribution of those funds. This would provide additional dollars to ensure those most vulnerable to the impacts of the pandemic were being supported. We were truly grateful for the opportunity to support our community in this way.

To read more about our COVID-19 response, including the impact of the COVID-19 Community Response Fund and the Emergency Community Response Fund, please read our full report here

Impact of our COVID-19 Community Response Fund