THUNDER BAY — The COVID-19 Community Response Fund launched by the United Way of Thunder Bay last week has received two significant boosts.
The Thunder Bay Community Foundation announced Monday it had matched the United Way's initial contribution of $25,000.
Within an hour of that decision, an anonymous donor added $100,000 to the fund, through the Community Foundation.
The collaborative fund is aimed at philanthropists, community leaders, corporations and individuals who wish to help people affected by the pandemic stay safe and healthy, and have access to basic needs including food, clothing, hygiene products, shelter and crisis counselling.
Local agencies can apply for funding through the Foundation's online grant platform.
A joint committee will evaluate applications and provide a response within three to five days.
Alexandra Calderon, executive director of the Foundation, said "We wanted to join the United way in a collaborative effort...It is critical that our local organizations have the resources they need to operate under the current strain."
Calderon said some local families are living in a period of crisis.
Albert Brule, CEO of the United Way, said 100 per cent of every donation to the Thunder Bay COVID-19 Community Response Fund will support the frontline agencies.
"Both of our organizations have waived any and all administrative costs and will be working alongside charitable organizations," Brule added.
In a joint statement, the two organizations said COVID-19 has already brought a sharp increase in demand for services from Thunder Bay health and social service organizations.
"Missing pay cheques, inability to pay rent, lack of access to food and other essential supplies are realities that many community members are facing now or will be facing in the coming months," they said.