“The light is ahead and burning brighter, and we can all be thankful for that,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said earlier this month,
Dr. Henry’s positive words of hope come during a season when many people are used to feeling and showing gratitude. It’s uplifting to know that at the end of this particularly stressful and challenging year for many in B.C., we all can hold on to a bit of optimism at the promise of better days ahead.
But beneath the surface of much-needed hope is a troubling reality. The very thing that got us through this crisis — our community — is more vulnerable than ever before.
Local service organizations are seeing dramatic spikes in demand for the support they provide. Arts and culture groups, forced to cancel performances, have seen income plummet and their very future put at risk. Many people in our communities are experiencing isolation and loneliness.
Despite the light on the horizon, nearly a quarter of non-profits in B.C. say they’re at risk of closing their doors.
That is why Vancouver Foundation has joined forces with two leading figures in building strong communities with a rallying cry: If you have reason to be grateful in 2020, please step up and share it with others.
Niki Sharma, B.C.’s first Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits, is committed to engaging with and supporting this important sector through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. Kennedy Stewart, the Mayor of Vancouver, has mobilized emergency grants to help local organizations and their volunteers continue doing their crucial work. Kevin McCort, CEO of Vancouver Foundation, is the catalyst behind a $20 million fund that helped community non-profits through COVID-19.
Together, they’re calling on British Columbians to do what people in our province always do in a crisis — come together and help one another in whatever ways we can.
Their invitation is simple. If you can make an end-of-year financial contribution, do it, because your local charity needs the support urgently. If you have time to share, many non-profits have adapted so people can volunteer safely. With so many people feeling distanced, little acts of kindness — such as shoveling your neighbour’s driveway or calling an elderly relative — go a long way in helping us feel connected.
Sharma, Stewart, and McCort go one step further. In this year with so many troubling stories, something we can all use is more good news.
That’s why they’re calling on British Columbians to tell their friends, or share on social media, which non-profits need our support and gratitude this holiday season. Use #GiveBC to join the conversation!
These three community leaders remind us that it doesn’t matter where or how we give. As we near the end of this long, dark tunnel, what matters most is — for those of us who can — to step up do our part to share the brighter light ahead with others.
Give money. Give time. Give hope.
If you want to make a holiday donation but don’t know where to start, visit canadahelps.org to search for a charity or cause that’s close to your heart.