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United Way Thunder Bay Takes Part in new Emergency Community Support Fund

$707,000 in funding available in Northwestern Ontario for charities supporting COVID-19 response

Thunder Bay,ON, May 19, 2020 – The Thunder Bay Community Foundation and United Way of Thunder Bay announced they will be provide $707,000 to support local charities responding to COVID-19 as part of a new partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, funded through the Government of Canada’s $350M Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). This vast national effort aims to support vulnerable populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Thunder Bay Community Foundation is among some 150 local community foundations across Canada that is taking part.

“This is a vital step in the fight against COVID-19,” says Alexandra Calderon, Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Community Foundation. “Local charities and non-profit organizations have been working tirelessly to support those who need it most right now. This additional funding is a much-needed boost to their efforts. We’re looking forward to flowing funds quickly to ensure no one in our community is left behind.”

The Emergency Community Support Fund was initially announced on April 21, 2020, by the Prime Minister of Canada. It is part of a broad series of emergency response measures by the Government of Canada.

“Canadian charities and not for profits are always there to help you, in your time of need. But the COVID- 19 pandemic is bringing real challenges to these important organizations. With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada will be there for them so they can continue to be there for Canadians,” says The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Building on the successful partnership that the Thunder Bay Community Foundation and United Way of Thunder Bay established with the launch of the Thunder Bay COVID-19 Community Relief Fund, the organizations have created a joint application portal that will allow community service organizations to apply for funding by way of a single application.

According to Albert Brulé, CEO of the United Way of Thunder Bay, “COVID-19 is top of mind for everyone and it is affecting the ways we support those who are vulnerable in our communities. This pandemic has created an increase in demand for local services, shortages in supplies, and disruption in service. We are committed to ensuring that funds are broadly available to service providers to help them adapt their services – providing emergency support of all kinds; in particular, to individuals and communities experiencing continued or heightened vulnerability.”

The purpose of the Emergency Community Support Fund is to resource front-line services supporting vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Community service organizations throughout Northwestern Ontario are encouraged to apply. Information and a link to the joint Thunder Bay Community Foundation and United Way of Thunder Bay Grant Application Portal can be found on each organization’s website: www.uwaytbay.ca or www.tbcf.org.

“At Community Foundations of Canada, our purpose to “relentlessly pursue a future where everyone belongs” has never felt more important than it does right now,” said Andrea Dicks, Community Foundations of Canada President. “We’re grateful for the leadership of local community foundations like the Thunder Bay Community Foundation, who have been at the forefront of local response efforts since the pandemic was declared. Thanks to the Government of Canada’s contribution, our network will be able to unlock even more local impact for organizations serving vulnerable groups, helping us set the stage for more inclusive, resilient and sustainable communities.”