Our Community Can’t Recover Without You
We’ve never had a year like this. ‘Multi-tasking’ took on a whole new meaning for us this year, as we’re sure it did for many of you as well. In March, we suddenly found ourselves creating space in our homes for ‘offices’, learning how not to bump colleagues off Zoom meetings, (not to mention ensuring your laptop camera is off before you come to a meeting on a bad hair day), look after kids and animals while we worked, and trying to make everyone stop touching their own face.
Those were the easy things, we were lucky. Because, while we were having a relatively seamless transition, we knew our agencies were going to struggle, if they weren’t already. Isolated seniors found themselves needing meals and connections, people were losing their jobs and requiring counselling and other supports, and basic needs became our core focus. The pandemic magnified gaps that already existed and created new ones as well.
For the first time, we quickly partnered with the Red Deer and District Community Foundation to create a Community Response Fund (CRF). Business, industry, and individuals jumped in to donate. Agencies needing money urgently to meet the crisis received funds from the CRF right away. The federal government asked us to allocate its Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF), which we were glad to do, and another round of ECSF is materializing for this Fall. There was also federal funding for the Seniors Horizons fund that needed to get into the hands of agencies ASAP. The provincial government provided matching funding for our own Community Response Fund during the month of May, meaning more funding applications and allotments. Helping these initiatives was an honour; they were firsts for us, and we got it done.
Now, Campaign is here, and it is more urgent than ever. All the money allocated earlier this year was emergency funding for COVID. Our agencies need their normal annual funding so that the programs our community depends on can continue to exist.
So, remember the planning we used to do for our Campaign? We did that too, and we created another first. Our Kick–Off had to be socially distanced so we held it as a Drive-In, complete with massive screen and guests listening on their car radios. That was an unusually gorgeous fall day and a lot of fun. We filled the parking lot and released our Campaign video, made locally (for the first time) by Cache Productions. And, we live-streamed it (another first).
We expect this Fall and Winter to bring us many more firsts, including our new 365 Small Business Circle and Women United. Watch for more info on those soon. – Brett