United Way celebrates Island Health as it kicks off its annual workplace giving campaign during uncertain times

Victoria, BC (September 2, 2020) – United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) is proud to again partner with Island Health as it has for over three decades as part of its annual Workplace Giving Campaign.

This year’s campaign is extraordinary as UWGV and Island Health are more connected than ever given the needs of citizens across the Island. For many Islanders, the fall months bring fear around paying bills and buying groceries. The economic turmoil spurred on by COVID-19 has left many community groups with increased demand and reduced avenues of revenue and gifting. That leaves the future of those they help deeply uncertain.

As United Way heads into fall, uncertainty surrounds businesses and communities across Greater Victoria. Many Island residents will be working from home. Commute times have been reduced dramatically and meeting attire has turned decidedly casual. United Way acknowledges the dynamics of workplace giving have changed dramatically during COVID-19 including health and safety requirements for physically distant fundraising.

“Like no time in our past, our community is facing challenges, but now more than ever we have the ability to come together as neighbours, united in our passion to transform local lives,” said Mark Breslauer, CEO at UWGV. “Island Health and United Way have been in partnership for the community for over 30 years now and employees have contributed over $5.4 Million during that time frame. We are grateful for the heroics of Island Health employees day in and day out and for their generosity of spirit and giving”.

In recognition of the sacrifice Island Health teams made in the face of the pandemic, the UWGV teamed up with Accent Inns and contributed over $100,000 to provide more than 1,140 free hotel room nights so that healthcare workers could self-isolate to ensure the safety of their families.

“Island Health is pleased to celebrate 30 years of supporting United Way Greater Victoria’s annual Workplace Giving Campaign,” said Elin Bjarnason, Vice President of Clinical Operations South Island at Island Health. “Our staff share a commitment to supporting the health of people in their communities and donating to UWGV is an extension of the care we are honoured to provide each day.”

“During COVID19 we will see many people in our community struggle and rely on services that are funded by the UWGV. During this Island Heath campaign, your donation matters more than ever and will have important and far-reaching impacts,” said Darlene Gallant, President, Victoria Labour Council.

For this year’s annual campaign season, UWGV has narrowed its focus in direct response to COVID-19 to help our communities recover and rebuild. UWGV’s three areas of action include: ISOLATED SENIORS, FAMILIES IN NEED & MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTIONS, each with signature initiatives wherein individuals can direct gifts. Details can be viewed here: uwgv.ca/areas-of-action/

UWGV is committed to playing a key role in the recovery and rebuild of Greater Victoria. Together with Island Health and its affiliated unions, the workplace giving campaign can support United Way funded programs that benefit employees, their friends, families, clients and people in need in communities across the health region.

For more information on how to start a workplace employee giving program or to donate visit uwgv.ca.

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About United Way Greater Victoria

United Way is a trusted leader, influencer and catalyst for change. 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 connects us. Last fiscal year United Way raised $4.7 million thanks to over 7,000 donors and over 250 workplaces opening their offices to run employee giving programs. These funds allowed United Way to support over 90,000 people. Show your local love today by making a gift to United Way at uwgv.ca.

About Island Health

Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 800,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River. With more than 22,000 staff and over 2,000 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

Media Contact

Heather Skydt

United Way Greater Victoria
Director Marketing and Communications
heather@uwgv.ca
Cell: 250-686-3606

Dominic Abassi
Island Health Communications
dominic.abassi@viha.ca
Tel: 250-755-7966