By Jensen, Randy on April 13, 2020.
ATB announced $250,000 in funding for United Ways across Alberta on Thursday to support their work to address the emerging needs of their communities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the total gift, United Way of Lethbridge & South Western Alberta is receiving $20,000 as the province rallies to be there for the most vulnerable during this time.
In response to the current crisis, United Ways are collaborating with partners to help communities overcome the challenges the outbreak is causing. The funds will be distributed in different ways across the province to best serve the unique needs in each community.
In Lethbridge and South Western Alberta, four of the key areas for support include mental-health resources, supports for seniors, help for people to access basic needs, and enhancing and expanding community services.
“Like many others across Alberta, a great number of people here couldn’t predict how COVID-19 would affect their families and their jobs in such a short time,” said Vincent Varga, United Way’s interim executive director, in a news release. “We know that there are people who may not have the resources to create a safety net for themselves in anticipation of this, who are now in need of support. Our local agencies are doing their best to adapt quickly and efficiently to meet the demands for service.”
The release notes United Way organizations are uniquely positioned to work rapidly with front-line agencies, local municipalities and partners across Alberta to uncover the greatest needs and organize to achieve the greatest impact.
“ATB Financial and the United Way organizations of Alberta have a long history of listening to Albertans and providing help where it is most needed,” said Curtis Stange, president and CEO of ATB Financial. He explained that now, more than ever, is a time to band together to support one another, “especially those charities like United Way who are quickly identifying the most pressing needs and actioning help across the province.”
Stange also encouraged other organizations to do what they can to help all Albertans get through this challenging time.
ATB understands Alberta’s United Ways are deeply connected to its various communities. That connection provides important insight into what supports Albertans need during this crisis.
“COVID-19 is affecting everyone in our communities,” said United Way board chair Danielle Davids, “and those who were already struggling need help more than ever. We’re very thankful for ATB’s leadership in this capacity. It’s going to make a big difference in how local agencies are able to respond.”
Varga explained more information about accessing emergency funding from United Way for COVID-19 response and relief will be available in the coming weeks for organizations in Lethbridge and South Western Alberta.
“Our staff and board of directors are working on systems to be able to put emergency support to work as quickly and efficiently as possible,” he said. “We’re very appreciative of the generosity partners like ATB are showing in response to the situation. It’s quite remarkable how people, businesses, and communities are all coming together to help one another.”
For more information about United Way’s COVID-19 response, visit http://www.lethbridgeunitedway.ca/covid-19.