Thank you for publishing such a detailed review of important events and activities in our community throughout the tumultuous year of 2020. The Sunshine Coast Foundation is proud to have played a significant role throughout the year by ensuring that local charities could weather the financial challenges of cancelling programs and events and shifting their service delivery models.
Very quickly after the pandemic forced a suspension of most normal activities in mid-March, the foundation established the Sunshine Coast COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. We seeded it with $50,000 of our own resources and appealed to the community for additional contributions. Dozens of individuals responded with more than $30,000 in gifts. The District of Sechelt generously contributed $50,000 from the Sunshine Coast Community Forest Legacy Fund. The Vancouver Foundation stepped up with an additional $30,000.
Between April and December, the foundation granted more than $138,000 to 33 local charities that otherwise might have been forced to suspend or significantly curtail their operations. Many of the local organizations that received financial support from the foundation have provided much needed services to vulnerable individuals during the pandemic, such as the Hospice Society, the Sechelt Seniors Activity Centre, the Association for Community Living, Arrowhead Clubhouse, the Gibsons Family Network, and Sunshine Coast Special Olympics, among many others. We also facilitated a grant of $75,000 from the federal Emergency Community Support Fund to the Community Services Society so they could increase their capacity during this challenging time.
While pivoting to address these new, critical needs in our community, the foundation maintained its regular granting program in 2020. We awarded two significant grants of $20,000 each to the Sunshine Coast Affordable Housing Society to support its Gibsons housing project and to the Community Services Society to enhance food security programming. Twelve additional organizations received a total of $34,000 to support local programming.
The massive disruptions caused by the coronavirus will continue for at least the first several months of 2021. The Sunshine Coast Foundation continues to accept donations to and make financial awards from the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Please contact the foundation at 604-741-7360 or email@example.com for more information.
Chair, Board of Directors
Sunshine Coast Foundation