COVID-19 Relief funds coming for charities in the North Okanagan

Over $113,000 invested and 13 local charities benefit from this emergency support

VERNON (May 27, 2020) – A partnership between the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan (CFNO) and United Way Southern Interior BC (UWSIBC), has granted $113,200 to charity projects and programs directly dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis in the North Okanagan. After the pandemic was declared, both organizations jumped into action to launch a funding appeal knowing that a collective response would provide a more substantial impact.

“After reaching out to community and charity partners, we discovered that many were experiencing dire circumstances and needed help immediately,” says Kahir Lalji, Executive Director of United Way SIBC. “Heartfelt thanks to the many donors who’ve contributed to the Relief Fund, and to all those who continue to provide essential front-line social and community service during the pandemic.”

After launching a combined application, the group expedited the grant review process and came to an agreement on the most pressing charities and causes to fund in the first phase of allocations. These include essential supplies for families in need, support for vulnerable women, technology upgrades and program adaptations so organizations can adhere to physical distancing requirements while continuing to serve their clients safely.

“The guiding principle for this partnership is to mobilize funds to help quickly without letting overly onerous application procedures slow us down,” says Leanne Hammond, Executive Director of CFNO. “This is a time for trust-based philanthropy and collaboration. Ask charities what they need to help people, get them the resources to do it, and get out of their way.”

Funding has been approved for the following North Okanagan, Columbia, and Shuswap agencies:

BrainTrust Canada
Canadian Mental Health Association – Vernon
Community Connections Society (Revelstoke)
Community Dental Access Centre (Vernon)
Good Food Box North Okanagan
Enderby and District Community Resource Centre
Habitat for Humanity Vernon
HOPE Outreach North Okanagan Friendship Centre
Independent Living Vernon
Kindale Developmental Association (Vernon) Salvation Army Vernon Vernon Upper Room Mission Whitevalley Community Resource Centre (Lumby)

Funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

In addition, the Government of Canada launched the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) in partnership with United Way Centraide Canada, Community Foundations of Canada and the Canadian Red Cross. Each organization is offering funding based on their unique criteria but all grants are intended to support the most vulnerable affected by the pandemic in our communities. Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.

The United Way SIBC ECSF applications are being accepted from registered charities and other qualified donees until June 26, 2020 with allocations announced in July: 

CFNO applications are being accepted until July 27, 2020 on the national portal: 

To learn more about the community efforts to support the charitable sector during COVID-19, please visit each of our websites:
Community Foundation of the North Okanagan:
United Way Southern Interior BC:

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