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Local United Way launches fund to help those at risk respond to COVID-19

The United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) has announced a new fund aimed at helping the most vulnerable members of the local community during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Mar. 20, 2020, the local United Way announced that the Anna and Edward C. Churchill Foundation has donated $50,000 to help launch the fund, and that the funds will be maximized through a matching program, matching any donation made to the fund up to $50,000. The funds will go directly towards supporting basic needs, supports for the elderly and most vulnerable, and building agency capacity to respond to COVID-19 across the KFL&A region, the local United Way said.

“We know that in our region many people could not, and cannot, afford to adequately prepare for how COVID-19 is affecting their family. Those who already face barriers—things like food insecurity, poverty, homelessness and social isolation—need even more help during this time,” said United Way KFL&A President and CEO Bhavana Varma said in a statement. “Community members are looking for ways to help and that is where this fund comes in. Our community is strongest when we work together and support each other and that is what we strive to do each day, especially in times of crisis.”

The United Way KFL&A will be divesting the funds through agency partners, who are “closest to the ground and are keenly aware of the needs and issues emerging in the communities they are serving.” The funds will go to supporting agencies and individuals in the following identified key areas, which may grow and change as needs arise:

  • Help for seniors: support and ensure vulnerable people are not isolated
  • Basic needs: access to food and supplies to continue helping the most vulnerable stay healthy
  • Capacity for community services: community partners can continue to do their vital local work
  • Mental health support: system navigation services and counselling
  • Support for volunteers: support the amazing people who support others

A Kingston-based foundation, the Churchill Foundation is dedicated to supporting local charitable organizations involved with youth, education, and health care. For more information or to contribute to the fund, click here. “During this critical period it is important to help those in our community who are vulnerable,” said Tom Wightman, chair of the Anna and Edward C Churchill Foundation. “The foundation looks forward to working with the United Way and helping the agencies and programs in KFL&A as our community responds to COVID-19.”

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