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Local Love in a Global Crisis
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The sprint that turned into a marathon 

Local Love in a Global Crisis

The sprint that turned into a marathon 

Addressing urgent needs.
Creating lasting change.

When the pandemic began, United Way East Ontario quickly mobilized to see how we could support those most in need.

Working closely with frontline agencies, all levels of government, and other partners, we identified the greatest needs, and organized to achieve the greatest impact. 

Since March 2020, we’ve focused on seeking out new, innovative approaches to keep the most vulnerable people from falling through the cracks during the toughest times. Grassroots groups formed and new services emerged as a result of collaboration across sectors at the COVID-19 Community Response Table 

The pandemic no longer feels like an urgent crisis. But that doesn't mean the work is over.

We continue to see a historic need for social services, the cost of living keeps rising, frontline workers are burnt out and leaving the sector, charitable giving is down, and what the end of the pandemic looks like is uncertain.  

Our path forward is about taking “what’s worked” during the pandemic and turning that into long-lasting change. It’s about treating chronic issues with the urgency they require to build more resilient communities.  

A husband and wife sitting on their couch holding each other close.

In normal times, and through crises, United Way tackles the most complex social issues. But we don’t do it alone. 

These challenges demand collaboration. We bring people and organizations together—from businesses, non-profits, governments, and more—to solve problems. United, we can have an even bigger impact and make our communities measurably better. 

Through the first two years of the pandemic, United Way chaired the COVID-19 Community Response Table: a group of more than 100 partners representing public health authorities, municipalities, frontline social service agencies, corporate partners, with the common goal of supporting local people as they cope with the effects of COVID-19. 

Over 28 months





subject matter experts



Community Response Table meetings

To implement


rapid response solutions to the social challenges of the pandemic.

We continue to respond to the most pressing needs in our communities, because the effects of COVID-19 will last for generations.

When you give to United Way, you help:

Ensure easy access to basic needs.

Address the housing and homelessness crisis.

Increase access to mental health and substance use supports.

Close the widening opportunity gap.

Support equitable economic recovery and inclusive growth.

We’re making a difference in people’s lives every day

A caregiver driving a vulnerable senior to a doctors appointment.

United Way East Ontario works in the communities of Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark County and Renfrew County to tackle the tough problems. Our donors understand that while COVID-19 affects everyone , it amplifies the challenges vulnerable people already deal with year-round—making United Way more important than ever.

United Way’s Annual Report highlights our accomplishments over the past year, thanks to our donors and partners. Take a look to see incredible highlights of community work and detailed breakdowns of our impact.

This report will tell you who we helped, how we helped them, and what more we need to do.

Check out the latest news and impact updates.

The Road Ahead

COVID-19 brought the fault lines of our communities into focus and provoked an urgency to take them on. But it will take courage and commitment to continue tackling these chronic challenges—like poverty, social isolation, and mental health.

Michael Allen
President and CEO, United Way East Ontario 

A photo of Michael Allan

Need help?

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911 (9-1-1)
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The Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region 
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For the most accurate and up to date information on COVID-19, refer to health officials:

If you’re able, please give generously today.

A teen wearing a pink hat and purple mask, waiting to catch a bus.