COVID-19 Community Response Fund

Thursday March 19, 2020, Guelph — Today, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin is asking our community to help support the most vulnerable, as we continue to support community and social service agencies in response to the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) across Guelph, Wellington county and Dufferin county.

United Way has launched this initiative to help with coordination efforts and raise funds for those most vulnerable. The site will provide information and referral, as well as allow for people to make a donation to support those most in need. Visit the website at

“We know many people across our communities cannot afford to prepare, and do not have a support system around them if they contract Covid-19 or need to self-isolate,” said Jeff DeRuyter, 2020 Campaign Chair and former Chief, Guelph Police Services. “As the needs evolve, we need to ensure the most vulnerable are supported.  United Way is in the best position to ensure all community partners have access to the assistance and funds to ensure this help is available when it’s needed.”

Working with community partners, United Way has identified the following needs, while anticipating they will continue to grow:

  • Help for seniors – ensure that while vulnerable people are isolated, they are also supported
  • Basic needs – ensure people have access to life’s essentials, such as food
  • Housing – ensure those who are experiencing homelessness have adequate shelter and support to self-isolate
  • Capacity for community services – ensure that community partners can continue to do their vital local work
  • Mental health support – enable crisis lines and system navigation services
  • Support for volunteers – there are amazing people rallying to support others – they need our help too


“Support of community partners like United Way and our funded agencies is critical to ensure local social services can offer support where it is needed”, said DeRuyter.  “As the situation evolves, so too will the needs in the community. While people care for their families and those closest to them, we urge you to think of those who may need extra support to prepare, or those who need support while in self-isolation.  And while there is a great deal of urgency now, our role will become even more critical as we help people get back to ‘normal’ once the pandemic is under control.”

“Throughout our history, United Way has always been there in times of need.  This time will be no different.  We have been in touch with our agencies and will continue to work directly with them and community leaders to identify local needs and emerging issues to ensure we are providing support where it is needed most.  And as always, funds raised will stay right here in our local community.”, said Colleen Murdoch, Director, Communications & Community Impact.  “It is our role to aid in the ongoing support of our community, and to ensure that vulnerable populations are not left behind.”

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