Yellowhead Community Services (YCS) received a financial boost from Interior Savings Credit Union’s Community Relief Fund, which will go toward its food programs as well as new technology to improve operations.
The fund, launched on May 1, awarded YCS with two rounds of support, the first of which was for $7,000 and the second for $1,500.
Roughly $3,000 from the first round of funding went to the purchase of laptops, webcams and cell phones to improve YSC’s ability to offer virtual appointments to at-risk families.
The rest of the funding went to helping the organization provide meals to low-income, vulnerable residents, families and seniors.
Interior Savings has given a total of $150,000 to non-profit organizations across the Thompson, Okanagan, and Nicola regions to help local non-profits manage the additional expenses they face because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Community Relief Fund started as a $100,000 commitment coupled with an invitation to credit union members to top it up by investing in a Community Impact Term Deposit.
For every dollar invested, the Credit Union promised to add another 2 per cent to the fund, up to $50,000. With overwhelming support from its members, the fund quickly grew to $150,000.
“We’re not surprised that our members embraced the opportunity to lend a hand in our communities”, said Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings, in a recent press release.
“It’s a critical time for our local non-profits. Our members’ support allows more money to be invested in our communities to help address the substantial pressure non-profits are facing as they modify their operations to serve those in need.”
According to Conway, “In the nearly 100 funding applications we received, two predominant themes emerged: a spike in requests for food assistance and a large gap in access to technology.”
Non-profits have had to increase their spending on protective equipment and sanitation supplies across the board, the release said.
On top of that, many have responded to as much as a 50 per cent increase in requests for food assistance by spending more on food, packaging, and delivery to people’s homes, while others have had to buy laptops, tablets and zoom subscriptions to continue safely supporting those struggling with, or recovering from, health challenges, trauma, abuse or family conflict.
In many cases, non-profits have launched technology lending programs to ensure everyone in their community has a way to stay connected to their support networks.
In total, 45 non-profit organizations from Clearwater to Osoyoos received grants ranging in size from $1500 to $7000.