United Way of P.E.I. figuring out how to best spend $100K from province
'We work closely with a lot of organizations'
Officials with the United Way of P.E.I. are determining the best way to spend $100,000 provided by the province to help vulnerable Islanders get through the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
The P.E.I. government announced a number of relief measures earlier this week, including money for the organization.
The money will allow the United Way to continue efforts to help those in need during the pandemic, says Andrea MacDonald, the organization's CEO.
"As we go into stricter restrictions with the circuit breaker and the public health guidelines, we will really look back to make sure that mental health supports are in place," MacDonald said.
"That we're able to make sure people who might be at risk of being isolated, and then also with people being home or ensuring basic needs — food, medication, transportation — are able to be met."
Since the pandemic began, the United Way has been working to ensure federal and provincial money gets into the hands of organizations supporting the most vulnerable, MacDonald said, and this money will make sure that work continues.
MacDonald said she is contacting different groups to see where extra help may be needed.
"We work closely with a lot of organizations," she said. "We've been delivering funding from March right up until this week."
MacDonald said she isn't sure how far the $100,000 will go. Since March, the organization has spent over $1 million on 50 different projects across the Island, she said.
"We're just continually addressing and trying to identify the needs and if we see more need we will reach out to government, private sector and ask for support."
Lost income around the holidays
MacDonald didn't say exactly where the money would be going, but she said the organization is "aware of the needs people have coming into Christmas and the stress that that brings on."
"The lockdown and knowing people very well may be losing their income at that time is something that we will be considering," she said.
Only registered charities can be funded by the United Way, but organizations in need can email. Those with individual needs are directed to call 211, MacDonald said.
Reminder about symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
- Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
- Sore throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Extreme or unusual fatigue
- Runny nose.
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With files from Angela Walker