I encourage you take a moment to consider those in greater need during this unprecedented time in history. In Canada and abroad, vulnerable communities have become more susceptible to acute poverty, illness, homelessness, violence and food insecurity. Shelters are being forced to close, while food banks are running low. There is an ongoing need to continue donating blood, an essential need for the survival of thousands. The front line organizations and caretakers of high-risk populations need our help, and they need it now. Luckily, we can all help in a variety of ways, many of which don’t require leaving your home.
This week I’m sharing resources for the province’s most densely populated areas, including Vancouver and Victoria, as well as organizations that distribute donations across the province.
If you’re located in a region outside of the lower mainland or southern Vancouver Island, and know of a valuable community resource centres accepting donations, please let me know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
I strongly encourage you to consider making a cash donation. At this time, these will go the farthest to support these organizations. Making a donation online also means you can continue to practice safe social distancing and self isolation in your home.
Vancouver Foundation works with individuals, corporations and charitable agencies to create permanent endowment funds and then uses the income to support thousands of charities.
The Community Response Fund is a collaborative multi-sector partnership to rapidly deploy essential relief to charities that provide frontline services to people and organizations that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and its economic consequences.
Learn more and donate to the Community Response Fund here.
Greater Vancouver Food Bank
The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is committed to a vision of healthy communities through fair and effective food systems and pro-active work to help alleviate hunger in our communities.
Donated dollars go much farther than donated food. You can donate here. As the Food Bank has shifted from a market style shopping model to pre-packed grocery bags, they also require shopping bags of all sizes.
Covenant House helps youth experiencing homelessness, and protects and safeguards all youth in need.
Cash donations accepted here. Donations provide warm, nutritious food, a safe space and medical attention and support.
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre
The Centre responds to various health needs and conditions with the meals provision, including diabetes, hepatitis C and HIV.
Cash donations accepted here. The Centre is not accepting drop-offs of clothing or other donations at this time.
Mustard Seed Food Bank
The Mustard Seed Street Church’s operations Vancouver Island’s largest Food Bank, a Family Center, Hospitality programs, and addictions recovery.
Cash donations accepted here– currently requesting cash so specific items can be purchased to assemble pre-made food hampers.
Call 250-953-1581 to check the status of their drop off location; if open, they also are in need of dry/ clean blankets and socks, gloves, hand sanitizer and soap, diapers/ formula and hygiene products.
Our Place is a unique inner-city community centre serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, mentally and physically challenged, addicted and the homeless.
Cash donations are accepted here.
Items needed as Our Place adjusts their shelters to comply with health regulations:
Used or new items: single-person tents, sleeping bags, tarps
New items only: socks and underwear, gloves and scarves, toques, thermal underwear, warm jackets, blankets, toiletries, backpacks, baseball gloves, sunscreen, hats, bottled water, rainwear
These can be dropped off at 919 Pandora Avenue in downtown Victoria, or at New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community, 94 Talcott Road in View Royal (Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm).
The Cridge Centre for the Family
The Cridge Centre for the Family offers support, counsel, education and training; housing, residential and/or institutional care; and is a resource to individuals or organizations who minister to families, their members and those deprived of family relationships.
Cash donations accepted here. Watch for a fundraising campaign next month collecting donations for gift cards for local grocery stores to be distributed to clients of The Cridge Centre.
Cool Aid Society
Cool Aid advocates for and provides emergency shelter, supportive housing, integrated health care and other support services.
Cash donations are encouraged and accepted here. Please do not bring in donations in person. Cash donations also accepted over the phone at 250-383-1977 or via mail by cheque to 101-749 Pandora Avenue, Victoria BC, V8W 1N9.
Cool Aid is not accepting donations of goods or food at any location to facilitate social distance and keep everyone safe.
Throughout British Columbia
Food Banks BC is a member of Food Banks Canada; its members participate in the National Food Sharing System, acquiring and sharing large industry donations of food and consumer products and coordinate national-level and large-scale food drives for food bank networks, and from corporations.
Call Food Banks BC directly at 604-498-1798 and they will make the arrangements for larger or corporate donations of food through Food Banks BC HUBs located in Chilliwack, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Prince George and Kamloops.
Financial donations are encouraged. Food Banks BC will triage the need throughout BC and ensure they receive funds immediately so that food may be purchased and shared.
Most requested food bank items:
Pasta (canned or dry) and pasta sauces
Canned and frozen meats and fish
Meat alternatives (peanut butter, soy, assorted nuts)
Canned goods (beans, soups, and stews)
Dairy (fresh, canned, and powdered milk)
Canned vegetables and fruit