Community Foundation launches way for you to help local charities

Community Foundation North Okanagan Announces “BETTER TOGETHER- COVID-19 Community Response Fund” to support local charities helping people in need 

“Working together just makes sense,” according to Leanne Hammond, executive director of the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan. (CFNO) In response to the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), the Foundation has created the BETTER TOGETHER – COVID-19 Community Response Fund. This fund is a rapid response fund to support the work of our front line organizations working together to ensure our most vulnerable citizens are safe and healthy. 

As Hammond notes, “This is a challenging time for everyone and we know that it has compounded the struggles of some more than others. Low income families are likely now ‘no income’ families, seniors who have been told to stay home are finding getting groceries and supplies challenging, mental health issues are being exacerbated, and foodbanks are seeing donations and food drop offs drying up.” 

A recent emergency Community Foundation grant to the Salvation Army House of Hope Foodbank has ensured that no one goes hungry and no one gets forgotten at this trying time. As Annette Sharkey, Executive Director of the Social Planning Council, announced last week, “With funding from the Community Foundation a group of dedicated organizations and individuals put a “Plan B” into action immediately!” More emergency grants are slated to go out by the end of the week. 

The new BETTER TOGETHER – COVID-19 Community Response Fund launched by the community foundation is a way of pooling community donations big or small to turn around quickly to support charities that are delivering front-line support at this uniquely difficult time. As Community Foundation board chair, Herb Wong explains, “A Community Foundation’s purpose is to connect donors who care with causes that matter. I can’t imagine a time when the need will be higher than this. While the Foundation is best known for our endowment fund program, we also provide options for donors to make an immediate impact through this new non-endowed rapid response fund.” The fund is a great way to provide some immediate relief that does not rely on income from the endowment fund. As Leanne Hammond explains, “this does not take anything away from our long term big picture approach. This is not a time for ‘or’; it is a time for ‘and’. Collective response is what is required at a time like this – we encourage anyone who can afford to help to do so – this is a time to stand together – but 6 feet apart.”   

Groups that could use immediate help include: 

  • Food banks
  • Mental Health Resources 
  • Seniors support organizations 
  • Any charitable organization that has had to cancel a fundraising event will be experiencing financial stress  

To give to the BETTER TOGETHER – COVID-19 Community Reponses Fund go online to and click on the DONATE NOW button. For more information about the Fund or how to give, email [email protected] or call 250.542.8655. 


About Community Foundation of the North Okanagan
Founded in 1975, CFNO provides funding to organizations doing important work in our region. We connect donors who care with causes that matter. As a registered charitable public foundation, the CFNO provides donors a range of flexible giving options tailored to the donor’s wishes and interests. Visit for more information or call 250-542-8655 to find out how you can help. 

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