Thursday March 26, 2020

Launch of COVID-19 Community Response Fund
Supporting Our Most Vulnerable Residents

With the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic, there is much uncertainty. Some local residents will be feeling the impacts (health and economic) much harder than others.

With this in mind, the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough and United Way Peterborough & District have partnered with local donors to launch a COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

“This Response Fund is about our community coming together in new ways to respond to an urgent community crisis,” said Jennifer DeBues, Director, Operations and Granting, Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. “We want to support the essential work of charities in our community.”

An initial donation of $100,000 has been made to kick-start the Fund during this urgent phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. One hundred percent of funds raised will be distributed in direct consultation with front line agencies in our community who know best where urgent community needs exist.

“The intent is to invest in efforts to flatten the curve and reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission,” said Jim Russell, CEO, United Way Peterborough & District. “To that end, our first grants will focus on vulnerable populations, shelter and food. Our early thinking is that we don’t know the full impact of a prolonged event, but we do know homeless people are most vulnerable and food programs are facing immediate challenges.”

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer DeBues
Director, Operations and Granting
Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough

Jim Russell
Chief Executive Officer
United Way Peterborough & District

Friday March 20, 2020 (all hyperlinks updated March 27)

To our community,

With the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic, we know there is a lot of uncertainty.

We acknowledge that some residents will be feeling the impacts (health and economic) much harder than others.

Charities in our community will be facing extraordinary difficulties in the coming months. Some of them are already challenged by the logistics and costs of sourcing personal protective clothing and cleaning supplies, others have had to cancel fundraising events or performances that provide essential operating dollars. Others are trying to figure out how to deliver services to vulnerable clients virtually or remotely.

As always, the Community Foundation is committed to building a vital community for everyone. Over the coming days and weeks, we will work hard to determine if there is additional support we can provide the community. Our vision is to make it easy for people to do more good.

We want to take this opportunity to share with you how we’re responding to the current situation:

  • Starting Monday March 16 and for the foreseeable future, our physical office will be closed and staff will work remotely.
  • Staff will remain accessible by phone or email. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
  • Donations and grants will continue to be processed.

In addition, here’s a list of temporary changes we are making in our processes to assist our charitable partners:

  • We will not be asking any organization that received grants to return the funds due to impacts on your organization resulting from COVID-19.
  • You will be given additional time to complete your reports for any grant you received so that you don’t have to deal with that right now. Please complete them whenever it is reasonable to do so.
  • If the project/initiative you received funding for cannot be completed within the time period originally outlined – that’s okay. Let us know when your revised plans become clear.

In addition, we are working hard to determine if there is additional support we can provide the community. We are trying to understand how local charities are handling this situation, how it is affecting your work and your financial bottom line. Please keep in touch so we understand your needs. If you have important messages you need amplified on social media, please let us know and we are happy to share them.

We also want to reassure everyone that we have a long-term investment objective of creating a conservatively managed portfolio with predominantly low risk characteristics, in order to preserve capital and deliver reasonable growth and income for community grant potential.

While we encourage everyone to practice physical distancing, we also want to encourage you to stay connected. Physical distancing and “self-isolation” don’t mean social isolation! Take a moment to send a message, make a phone call, or FaceTime a friend, loved one, or neighbour. Staying connected keeps our community resilient and vital.

Some of the best sources of basic information about COVID-19 are Peterborough Public Health, Government of Canada, and World Health Organization.

Also, visit the COVID-19 page published by the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. It is constantly being updated and contains the lastest Federal, Provincial, etc. information for local residents, charities, businesses…our whole community.

For an evolving list of charitable sector information and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Imagine Canada website.

We will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly and will update this news post and our social media accounts as the situation unfolds.

Be kind to yourself and to each other. We’re all in this together.