North

United Way NWT receives more than $160K for COVID-19 relief fund

United Way NWT has received more than $85,000 in donations from northerners. The Yellowknife Community Foundation has matched $75,000 of that — the biggest donation in the foundation's history.

Money will go to communities more vulnerable because of pandemic

Meghan Kennedy, the United Way NWT's COVID-19 committee chair, said the amount of donations United Way NWT has received for pandemic response is nearly as much as the amount it gave out to local charities during its annual campaign last year. (Submitted by Meghan Kennedy)

Northerners and the Yellowknife Community Foundation have come together to donate more than $160,000 for COVID-19 relief in the Northwest Territories. 

United Way NWT has received more than $85,000 in donations from northerners. The Yellowknife Community Foundation, an organization that aims to make sure donations have a lasting impact, has matched $75,000 of that — the biggest donation in the foundation's history.

Robin Greig is the president of the Yellowknife Community Foundation. (Trudy Hause)

"When COVID[-19] hit and became more of a reality in the Northwest Territories, we figured we needed to figure out a way to support people," said Yellowknife Community Foundation president Robin Greig. 

The amount of donations United Way NWT, a non-profit that collects and distributes donations to help other non-profits, has received for pandemic response is nearly as much as the amount the organization gave out to local charities during its annual campaign last year, according to its COVID-19 committee chair Meghan Kennedy.

"It's quite a significant amount," she said. 

The money will go to communities that are more vulnerable because of the pandemic. Kennedy says United Way NWT has accepted proposals for grants from organizations across the territory. 

The $75,000 from the Yellowknife Community Foundation will go toward helping make sure people have shelter and enough to eat, Greig says. He says United Way NWT will decide exactly where the money goes, but it may go to organizations like Food Rescue and local shelters.

Foundation also saving to help post COVID-19

In the midst of the pandemic, the Yellowknife Community Foundation has found itself quite busy. Just last week, the foundation announced that the federal government had given the foundation $200,000 to support local charities, as a way to get money as quickly as possible to the people who need it most.

"They felt … the best way to get the money out to people in a fairly short manner was to be able to use the networks that were already in existence," said Greig, adding that local foundations have a better understanding of what's needed in each community. 

Greig said the foundation is also saving up for longer-term funds that will be set aside to help communities get back on their feet after COVID-19, but also after other potential crises.

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