Local Love in a Global Crisis
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Help the most vulnerable as our communities press on through COVID-19.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

But, it was in the weeks before that United Way East Ontario, local public health authorities, and social services agencies gathered to see how we could support those most in need.

Since then, grassroots groups have formed. New services have emerged, and staple support has adapted as a result of incredible teamwork and creativity through the COVID-19 Community Response Table. Neighbours are helping neighbours and volunteers are stepping up. Together, we’re making a difference.

A couple sitting on the couch waving to someone on their tablet.

As “COVID fatigue” and mounting exhaustion sets in for all of us, the pandemic is hitting our communities harder than it ever has. COVID-19 continues to challenge the efforts we’ve made to ensure no one struggling falls through the cracks, and we know there are many months to go before we’re in the clear. Now more than ever, we need to keep our communities strong.

Someone providing food and other supplies to someone in need.

We’re learning to carry on, but the needs haven’t gone away

Since the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 began to take hold, people who were already experiencing inequities—like poverty, homelessness and social isolation—have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. They need even more help during this time, and their needs will require our attention for 2021 and likely much farther into the future.

As we head into another year of living with COVID-19 in our region, we’ve renewed our commitment to provide ongoing support for the people hit hardest by this pandemic.

When you give to Local Love in a Global Crisis, you provide:


Icon: Basic Needs

Providing access to life’s essentials that help the most vulnerable stay healthy.

Help for seniors
and caregivers

Icon: Help for seniors

Supporting isolated seniors who are vulnerable and at risk of developing severe illness if they contract the virus.

Capacity for the
community sector

Icon: Community Services

Ensuring frontline services can continue their vital work.

Mental health and
crisis supports

Icon: Mental health support

Enabling vital crisis lines and system navigation services that benefit everyone.

Addressing learning loss for vulnerable children and youth

Ensuring kids get back on track with their education.

An equitable
economic recovery

An inclusive economic recovery

Building a more prosperous future for people who have been sidelined by the pandemic.

As the situation evolves, United Way will continue working with our community partners to adapt.

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

A kid holding up a painted rainbow in the window.

United Way East Ontario works in the communities of Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark County and Renfrew County to tackle the tough problems. In times of crisis, we work rapidly with front-line agencies, local municipalities and partners to uncover the greatest needs, and organize to achieve the greatest impact. Our donors understand that while COVID-19 poses a threat to everyone, it amplifies the challenges vulnerable people already deal with year-round—making United Way’s presence more important than ever.   

Thanks to our supporters, we’ve sought out and continue to put in place new, innovative approaches to keep the most vulnerable people from falling through the cracks. 

United Way’s COVID-19 Response Impact Report highlights our accomplishments during the first year of the pandemic, thanks to our donors and partners. Take a look to see incredible highlights of community work, our call to government, and detailed breakdowns of our impact and its outcomes.

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.

United Way responds to ongoing social needs amplified by pandemic

Last week, we invested $2 million in 39 local programs that will support the people who are still struggling as the province begins to reopen. Read more about how we’re bolstering Indigenous and Black mental health, and fighting food insecurity, social isolation, learning loss and more.

Delivering basic needs and compassion

United Way and our partners have been delivering basic needs and compassion to isolated seniors like Marie, so they don’t fall through the cracks.

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 systemic challenges. We will inevitably move into a recovery phase, and we must take the lessons of the pandemic with us to build a more equitable future.

The pandemic has been tragic and punishing for so many. But the resilience we’ve built over the past year can propel us to be better than we were before. We have our sleeves rolled up, and we’re ready to continue this work.

Michael Allen
President and CEO, United Way East Ontario 

A photo of Michael Allan

Need help?

211 (2-1-1)
Community, social, government and health services 

311 (3-1-1)
Customer service and municipal information 

911 (9-1-1)
Police, fire, and ambulance

For the most accurate and up to date information on COVID-19, refer to health officials:

If you’re able, please give generously today.