The Columbia Valley Community Foundation is seeking applications from charitable groups and nonprofits hoping to use the Emergency Community Support Fund.

The fund was launched by the federal government in late May with the aim of helping out Canadians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount of the fund is $350 million, distributed through the various Community Foundations of Canada as well as the Canadian Red Cross. The local Columbia Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) has been allotted up to $40,000 of that $350 million. So far only one qualified successful application has come in to CVCF and the foundation still has $35,000 left to distribute to local charitable organizations and non-profits serving vulnerable Canadians during the pandemic.

CVCF executive director Caitlin Hall-Sharp told the Pioneer that the definition of vulnerable is fairly broad, and includes (but is not limited to) youth, seniors, isolated people, those with disabilities and others, and consequently many groups that might not think they qualify for the funding may in fact qualify. She encouraged any such groups to apply.

The only qualified application so far saw $5,000 go to the Blue Lake Forest Education Society, to help the society hold alternatives to the overnight summer camps it typically holds at the local Blue Lake camp.

“Of course, with COVID-19, they cannot do those overnight camps this year,” said Hall-Sharp, adding that instead the society is holding several week long-day camps throughout its drawing area, including one camp in Invermere.

“So our funds will help support the additional costs the camp will incur as a result of COVID-19, such as dealing with added safety precautions, extra supplies, extra staff, etc.,” said Hall-Sharp.

Hall-Sharp clarified that the Emergency Community Support Fund is different than and separate from the Community Response Fund (which also helps those affected by COVID-19 and which is also administered by the CVCF).

The deadline for local applications for the Emergency Community Support Fund is July 27th. Those wishing to apply or to get more information can visit the CVCF website — — or can phone 250 342 2845.

Unsplash photo by Josh Appel