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What’s next for our COVID-19 response?


Bolstered by the expertise of participants at our COVID-19 Community Response Table, we launched Local Love in a Global Crisis on March 17, 2020. 

This initiative has helped with coordination efforts and raised funds and in-kind donations to support the most vulnerable people who have been sidelined by the pandemic.  

As is our promise 365 days a year, in times of crisis, United Way East Ontario identifies the areas of greatest need and we then research, convene, advocate, fundraise and invest to create the greatest impact for our communities.  

While COVID-19 has affected all areas of our work, we spent the first year of the pandemic responding to five areas of heightened need that required our focus:  basic needs, help for seniors, capacity for community services, mental health support, and support for volunteers. 

As of March 31, 2021, United Way East Ontario has invested in: 

As we head into the second year of the pandemic, we have identified six priorities for our continued response and our roadmap towards recovery—informed by real-time data and stories of lived experiences collected at the COVID-19 Community Response Table:


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

Help for seniors & caregivers

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

Capacity for the community sector

Ensuring frontline services can continue their vital work.

Mental health
crisis supports

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

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

Together, we can tackle the road ahead 

COVID-19 brought the fault lines of our communities into focus and provoked an urgency to take them on. Issues like poverty, homelessness, isolation, and mental health were not new, but the pandemic has made them much worse. 

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 hope you will join us as this work continues.

In our COVID-19 Response Impact Report, you’ll find: a summary of our work leading COVID-19 Community Response Table meetings, the real people we helped, a snapshot of the supporters who powered our response, and so much more. 




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The Government of Canada tabled its 2024 budget on April 16, 2024. Read our analysis on what it means for social services and people in need across East Ontario.

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