United Way Greater Victoria embarks on ambitious multi-year campaign

Introduction of expanded BC211 helpline services part of 2017 campaign launch

United Way Greater Victoria president and CEO Patricia Jelinski was doubly excited about this year’s workplace campaign kickoff for the Capital Region, held Monday at The Bay Centre.

Not only has the funding organization extended its focus to a three-year campaign window – the goal is to raise $15 million over the next three years – the BC211 help service United Way launched earlier this summer now has confidential telephone, texting and online referral options available to Vancouver Island residents 24/7.

The multi-year campaign goal is an indication to current and potential donors of the stability United Way seeks to give the agencies it funds, Jelinski said.

“It allows certainty for groups and allows them to look at longer-term outcomes,” she said. “We’re a multi-year funder so we fund our agencies for multiple years at a time. This is a chance for us to reach out and put a really big stake in the ground and say we need to raise $15 million in three years. It’s a big number and hopefully people will take note and say ‘wow there’s a lot of work to do and we need to be engaged.’”

Financial stability is important for service providers, she added. It lets them focus on their front line work, as opposed to eight or nine months down the road having to shift gears and start trying to figure out how they’ll pay for the programs they offer.

In 2016 United Way funded 109 social service organizations in the Capital Region to the tune of $4.2 million, helping those groups provide needed assistance to 111,000 people. Roughly 8,000 of United Way’s more than 10,000 donors last year contributed with a payroll deduction, Jelinski noted.

READ: Five ways to find help for yourself and the ones you love: Get help now at bc211.ca

The Island expansion of BC211, funded largely through a collection of individual and corporate donations, follows a successful co-launch in June by the province’s 10 local United Ways of bc211.ca, which provides an online service directory. That function came in extremely handy during this summer’s B.C. wildfires, Jelinski said.

“BC211 was a great resource for folks in the Interior to get updated [answers to questions about] where were the evacuation sites [and] where could people hook up with the Red Cross,” she said.

The 211 model is used across North America and was instrumental in helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the U.S., Jelinski added. “It’s a key resource in emergencies.”

The new phone and texting options allow Island residents greater flexibility to reach out for help on mental health supports, shelter and housing, legal aid, employment programs, seniors services and many other programs.

Over the next three weeks, the public is encouraged to stop by the United Way installation in the centre court at The Bay Centre, where you can snap a selfie or have your photo taken as the “I” in United Way and enter a contest to win a $1,000 gift card for the mall. Simply share the photo on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and include the hashtag #unitedyyj to be entered for the draw, which happens Oct. 8.

During that period, United Way will also have a booth at The Bay Centre where visitors can learn more about the bc211 program. Contest details can also be found at uwgv.ca/beunited while general donation and BC211 information can be found at uwgv.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

United Way

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

New nurse practitioner-led medical clinic welcomes Victoria patients

Health Care on Yates expects to serve 6,800 new patients over the next three years

Central Saanich needs at least more than 500 additional daycare spaces

Report before Central Saanich says region faces a ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

New branch of Royal BC Museum to be built in Colwood

New faclity in the Royal Bay development will house collections, archives and research department

Sooke RCMP searching for two people, reported missing on Sept. 10

Alannah Brooke Logan, 20, and Beau Richard Santuccione, 32, last seen on Otter Point Road

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read