By Stan Ashbee
On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Red Cross is helping to distribute emergency support funds for not-for-profits in the area.
According to a recent media release, the funds are being distributed in two ways. One is through a granting program for non-profits and the second is through a preventing disease transmission training and equipment program.
It was stated in the release, the funds are in aid of not-for-profit organizations serving vulnerable populations, who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The deadline to apply has now been extended to July 31, in order to distribute funds to as many community organizations as possible.
Saskatchewan Red Cross Vice-President Kim MacLean said the Red Cross is very excited to work, on behalf of the Government of Canada, to distribute emergency support funds.
“We recognize being a humanitarian organization, there are many community organizations out there who are continuing to deliver really important and valuable services, who may be struggling with funding because of the COVID situation,” MacLean noted.
MacLean pointed out the intent of the funding is for organizations that have been providing support throughout the pandemic to help offset some of the costs they’ve been experiencing in order to be able to continue to do that work.
“We recognize a number of organizations had to make adjustments like intensify their cleaning processes or look at virtual platforms to be able to deliver services, the prevention of disease transmission, and the cost of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). All of those things have probably heavily impacted these organizations,” MacLean explained.
MacLean said the Red Cross has also developed a virtual training program on the prevention of disease transmission.
With the second stream of granting available, in regards to the prevention of disease transmission and equipment program, any organization can apply for it — whether it’s a registered charity, not-for-profit, or similar entity. “It’s a unique program,” added MacLean.
According to MacLean, the Red Cross has an agreement with the provincial government and has been helping individuals who require isolation support during the pandemic.
“We also have been working with communities that were trying to look at creating their own self-isolation areas and have provided support with the distribution of cots, blankets, and pillows,” said MacLean.
In addition, MacLean said, the Red Cross continues to help support victims of house and wild fires.
“We continue to provide that support and have had to make adaptations by training our own volunteers in the area of the prevention of disease transmission and trying to do things virtually. It was a big adjustment for us.”
More information on the programs can be found at redcross.ca/communityorganizations or by calling 1-866-221-2232.