Over 500 donors raised $150,000 to help families in Greater Victoria through United Way and Capital Daily Partnership

In a year-end campaign less than two weeks long, the Capital Daily Holiday Donation Drive surpassed its original ambitious goal of $110,000, by raising more than $150,000 to benefit Neighbourhood Houses in Greater Victoria, as part of a collaboration between United Way and Capital Daily.

Victoria, BC (January 6, 2021) – Vancouver Island, take a bow. A couple of days before Christmas Eve, United Way and Capital Daily asked readers to give what they could for local families in need, in order to benefit Neighbourhood Houses in Greater Victoria.

The community answered and over 500 individuals stepped up, contributing over $75,000 in donations that were matched by Victoria-based organizations The Tiny Foundation, Heart Pharmacy, Jawl Properties, and a couple of anonymous donors. And what a result!

“Through our over 30 year-partnership with local Neighbourhood Houses, we know the amazing work each of these organizations do for the community. These donations will provide valuable programs and services to families with the greatest need,” said Mark Breslauer, CEO, United Way Greater Victoria. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of spirit displayed by our partners in this initiative – Capital Daily, Jawl Properties, Heart Pharmacy, Tiny Foundation, anonymous donors and the Capital Daily subscriber base.”

The beneficiaries of this fundraising campaign are Neighbourhood Houses in Greater Victoria, vital community hubs that provide a wide range of programs and services to help families and individuals. People like Jason.* Jason is a young single dad who was referred to Saanich Neighbourhood Place’s Saturday Dad’s Drop In program. Jason wanted to secure more time with his daughter but lacked the parenting skills and confidence. During the 6-week program, he connected with more experienced dads as mentors, and learned techniques to better communicate and build a more healthy relationship with his three-year-old daughter. Jason also attended community kitchen classes and learned how to prepare nutritious food for when he had his daughter in his care. Jason now enjoys time with his daughter each weekend.

Other local Neighbourhood Houses in Greater Victoria that will benefit from this fundraising drive include: Beacon Community Association, Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society, Fairfield Gonzales Community Association, Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group, James Bay Community Project, Oakland Community Association, Quadra Village Community Centre, Saanich Neighbourhood Place, and Sooke Family Resource Society.

“It’s been such a difficult year for Victoria. We’ve seen our family, friends and neighbours struggle like never before,” says Andrew Wilkinson, co-founder of Tiny, a tech-focused holding group based in Victoria and a benefactor to The Tiny Foundation. “With so many people in need of a break, just a little bit of help, there was an opportunity to unite a few South Island businesses to help out,” he says.

“Working with the United Way, we saw how tirelessly and how widely neighbourhood houses work with families in need across Greater Victoria. We are honoured to help them continue their vital work through this holiday funding drive and so grateful to our fellow citizens and businesses for their support in this initiative.”

“For many years, our partnership with United Way allowed us to strengthen and expand postnatal support and education to new moms and their babies. Without the financial support of United Way, we would not have been able to address the needs of individuals and families seeking mental health support,” said Mary Lynn McKenna, Executive Director, Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society, one of the local organizations that will benefit from this holiday donation drive.

Capital Daily readers and locals actually exceeded the campaign’s original goal of $110,000, two days ahead of schedule. A last-minute anonymous benefactor put up an additional $20,000 in matching funds and the Vancouver Island community did the rest, hitting the revised, audacious goal of $150,000 before New Year’s Eve when the funding drive closed.

*Jason’s name has been changed.

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About United Way Greater Victoria

United Way is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change. In response to COVID-19, we are focusing our efforts on urgent community needs such as essentials for families in need, mental health outreach services and counselling, and meals and companionship for isolated seniors. United, we accelerate change to improve the lives of our neighbours who need it most, making our local community stronger. We believe everyone in Greater Victoria should have the opportunity to reach their potential. Our vision is to build a safe and resilient community where happiness and belonging connect us. Show your local love today by making a gift to United Way at uwgv.ca.

About Capital Daily

Capital Daily is Victoria’s and Vancouver Island’s trusted source of local independent journalism. We deliver in-depth stories and reporting that pursues accountability, informs our community and inspires action on the issues that matter to our neighbours and fellow citizens. Our audience of 45,000 local subscribers counts on our daily morning briefing to plan their day and make sense of their city and Island. Subscribe at CapitalDaily.ca today.

Media Contact:

Heather Skydt
United Way Greater Victoria
Director, Marketing and Communications
heather@uwgv.ca
Mobile: 250-686-3606 Office: 250-984-2269