Donors have rallied to support vulnerable Calgarians in the aftermath of the flood, contributing half a million dollars to United Way's Emergency Community Support Fund – donations that will be critical in sustaining Calgary's community network of care in the next phase of flood recovery.
"Thank you for your incredible generosity, Calgary!" says Lucy Miller, United Way's President and CEO. "Together, we are making sure that vulnerable people in the Calgary area have the support they need to make it through the months ahead."
Now that the first phase of the crisis is over, community needs are becoming clearer. That's where United Way comes in: its agencies are experts in supporting families, children and vulnerable people who are recovering from crisis.
After the flood, United Way indicated that all online donations until July 10 would go to the emergency fund. Because of community need and donor enthusiasm, United Way is extending its initial donation deadline. All donations made online until July 31 will go toward the emergency fund.
So far, online donors have contributed more than $41,000. As well, companies including Canadian Oil Sands, Devon Canada, Enerplus, Shell Canada and Suncor Energy have stepped up to contribute, bringing the total donations to around $500,000 — in addition to the $1-million United Way had in its emergency fund before the flood.
This fund is assisting United Way agencies as they respond to community needs caused by the flood. Some agencies have had facilities damaged. Others need support in bringing on extra staff to deal with increased demand because of the disaster.
Here are some examples of what United Way has funded so far:
• Fresh Start Recovery Centre – Incurred costs by opening its doors to almost 90 additional residents from two other agencies that were evacuated during the flood.
• The Alex Community Health Centre – Replenishment of supplies and equipment. Also, support for a new staff position to assist with post-flood demand for social supports and counseling.
• Catholic Family Services - Backup internet service and cost recovery of office closure.
(Photo from City of Calgary.)