Calgary Charities and Non-Profits Helping Families during the COVID-19 Crisis
Charities and non-for-profits in Calgary help families by delivering food and ensuring access to medical services they need. Emergency financial assistance is also available to low income families during the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 Community Response Fund
A partnership of United Way and the City of Calgary, the Covid-19 Community Response Fund offers emergency financial aid to help vulnerable residents and protect their health and safety. The Calgary Foundation donated $1 million to the fund to ensure that vulnerable Calgarians have access to social services. Thanks to contributions by partners, corporations, organizations, and individuals, Indigenous communities are offered food hampers with meat and fresh vegetables. Seniors enjoy telephone wellness check-ins while children without computers received Chromebooks. The fund also supports at-risk groups such as new immigrants, homeless people, persons with disabilities, and those with addictions and mental health problems. Among the many donors of the community response fund are the Poelzer Family Foundation, Kanovsky Family Foundation.
Calgary Health Trust
A Calgary-based charity, the trust raises funds in support of health programs and care centres, the South Health Campus, Rockyview General Hospital, Peter Lougheed Centre, and Foothills Medical Centre. Clean Hands, Giving Hearts is an initiative to raise funds and a COVID-19 response fund and community campaign to ensure that residents have access to health services.
A volunteer organization, HelpingAlberta.com raises funds to ensure that frontline healthcare workers have access to needed personal equipment. The GoFundMe campaign is an initiative to buy surgical masks and N95 masks for healthcare professionals while the supply-donation campaign aims to secure supplies such as hand sanitizers, disinfectants, face shields, eye goggles, disposable protective gowns, sterile surgical gloves, and masks. Personal protective equipment is essential for hospital staff, community health workers, and first responders. It helps protect vulnerable members of society such as marginalized persons, homeless people, and seniors. Wearing PPE also helps prevent transmission from health workers to all patients they work with.
The organization accepts donations in the form of volunteering and monetary contributions. A number of businesses have made contributions, among which Princess Auto, Bean & Bear, Cloverdale Paint, Leasa Renae Salons. Personal protective equipment purchased with donations is delivered by the Zone Emergency Operations Centre to the Alberta Health Services. Sectors that use protective equipment which can be donated to frontline health workers include trade schools, house cleaning companies, hotels, and veterinary and dentistry clinics. Businesses working in other sectors are welcome to donate as well, including mechanics and automotive businesses and gas and oil companies. Construction businesses also use personal protective equipment, including drywalling, painting, landscaping, welding, electrical, carpentry, and plumbing.
Charities also Need Support
Many charities have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and were forced to end ticket sales and cancel events. In times of global health emergency, they also need help or may close doors. Such charities are the Ability Society of Alberta, Accessible Housing Society, Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary. The Accessible Housing Society, for example, needs help with operating dollars, cancellation of events, and demand for services. At the Aboriginal Society of Alberta, help is needed for mental health supports, assistance for vulnerable groups, and demand for services. The centre works with vulnerable groups such as homeless persons, youth and children, and seniors. The Ability Society of Alberta also works with youth and children and needs help to transition to an electronic model of services and programs targeting children at risk and their families.
Other charities that need help are the Airdrie Food Bank, Action Dignity Society, and AARC Adolescent Recovery Centre.