I’m sure the news has set in that in the coming weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic will change the way we live our lives. But, as we set out to care for our families and those closest to us, I’m writing today to urge you to think of the most vulnerable across Ottawa, Prescott-Russell, Lanark and Renfrew Counties.
We know that in our region many people could not, and cannot, afford to adequately prepare for the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. Many do not have financial or social supports should they need to self-isolate. Those who already face barriers – things like poverty, homelessness and social isolation – need even more help during this time.
But we’ve also seen our community rally over the past while – from small acts to kindness, to big acts of generosity, we know you want to help.
We’ve been there for each other through floods, ice storms and even tornadoes. When crisis strikes, together we must take action. In the face of this global health crisis, we are amazed by the local acts of kindness. Neighbours helping neighbours to buy groceries and supplies. Strangers supporting strangers as people voluntarily self-isolate to protect their community.
For weeks, United Way East Ontario has been working closely with public health agencies, social service agencies and volunteers to see how we could support those most in need.
The social fabric of our community is being tested. But we will get through this together.
Yesterday we launched our rapid response to support the community during this crisis and with your support, we can help the most vulnerable people.
Together we can bolster social services across the region and ensure we continue to offer support to the ones most in need. This includes support for basic needs, like food and household supplies. Help for seniors – who, while isolated, should not feel alone. We must support the capacity of community services, and the volunteers that are rallying to help others. And finally, we must support essential mental health crisis lines and systems navigation to get people the help they need, when they need it.
If you are able, please give to United Way to help the most vulnerable during this crisis.
As the situation changes, United Way will work with our community partners to adapt and provide regular updates to our supporters.
Thank you for your generosity.
President and CEO,
United Way East Ontario