United Way is unique in that what it refers to as it’s member agencies are essentially its tentacles for getting great work done where it’s needed most. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the United Way Greater Toronto was working with organizations as they shifted into an entirely new way of operating and having to refocus their priorities
People who are already disenfranchised from society are the ones who are suffering the most right now. Homelessness, access to food and medication, and community crisis supports are for our cities most vulnerable are what’s needed right now.
The K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation is driven by a board of directors made up of family members, essentially allowing us to shift financial support to meet unexpected needs without having to be slowed down by overly bureaucratic processes. Such is the case with United Way’s response to COVID-19 which we have been able to direct $10,000 from our foundation towards.
Since March the United Way Greater Toronto has approved more than $2.1 million in emergency funding to 198 projects across the GTA, including rapid response initiatives in the communities most impacted by COVID-19 such as funding Hope 24/7 and Interim Place report spiking rates of violence against women in Peel Region. The spike in violence is due to women being isolated with their abusers during the pandemic.
Through Peel Region, local school boards, Peel Regional Police and local municipalities are addressing these issues through a community safety and well-being plan that will ensure women experiencing violence and their families are cared for.
They’ve also provided funding to the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre to support neighbourhood leaders in assisting 1,500-2,500 residents across five buildings with crisis response, including food hampers and through The Neighbourhood Organization, 1,000 culturally appropriate food hampers we sent to isolated seniors in Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and St. James Town.
As an organization that is connected to so many frontline services, the United Way is truly helping out at the centre of it all and we are grateful that we can play a role. Thank you United Way Toronto!