There are many people and issues that require immediate attention during these times of uncertainty. Charities have adjusted the way they operate on a daily basis and many have had to make significant shifts to fulfill their particular missions. Unfortunately, many charities may not weather this storm.
Our intention with the Charity x COVID-19 series is to share updates from a spectrum of charitable organizations to garner attention and inspire support for those in need.
Charity name: BC Centre for Ability
Core purpose and mandate:
BC Centre for Ability provides community-based services that enhance the quality of life for children, youth, and adults living with diverse abilities, as well as their families and caregivers, in ways that facilitate and build competencies. We share a vision of inclusive communities where every person is able to participate, contribute, and thrive at all stages of life.
Some of the services we provide: early intervention therapy, supported child development, family services, adult vocational services, social-emotional services, therapy services, brain injury services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, social work services, etc.
How is your organization impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
On March 17 we closed our doors to in-person appointments and relied on virtual platforms to continue our work with the community. Although virtual services have proved helpful to some families, there really is no replacement for in-person appointments. Our physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, consultants, and coordinators did their best to continue their critical work so that the progress with children, youth, and adults with diverse abilities did not stop.
As part of our digital transformation, we have invested in a secure videoconferencing platform and moved two of our programs to an online portal so that we can continue to engage with our families virtually.
In June, we were thrilled to begin our gradual restart and reopening of our Centre to resume in-person appointments. Although our Centre serves 4,000 families annually, we are only holding a handful of in-person appointments a day to protect the health and safety of our staff and community. We now have the challenge of inviting only a small number of our clients and families into the Centre, based on priority assessment, Centre capacity, and clinical judgment – a decision that is not easy when we know that demand for in-person appointments is so high.
How have your fundraising plans changed?
As with many organizations, we have had to cancel our fundraising event – the Dining for Dreams Gala. Each year, we hold this gala to celebrate our client Heroes with our supporters and also raise critical funds to support our programs. The $200,000 raised goes a long way in enhancing our services we provide for children, youth, and adults living with diverse abilities.
For these reasons, we have launched our Relief & Resiliency Fund.
If there is one story or message you would like to share with our community, what would it be?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all experienced the profound challenges of isolation, confusion, and navigating the unknown. Our families were very familiar with these challenges, well before the pandemic. Their situations are further exacerbated during COVID-19 and throughout the recovery period.
How can one support your organization most effectively?
Support the work we do for children, youth, and adults living with diverse abilities by visiting bc-cfa.org/relief-and-resiliency-fund to donate to our Relief & Resiliency Fund. There are also other ways to help; follow us on social media and share our fund and messages to raise awareness and support the work that we do for the community.
Our media social media handles and URLs:
|www.linkedin.com/company/bccentreforability||@BC Centre for Ability|
Can donations be transferred electronically? If so, how?
Yes, donations can be transferred electronically:
1). For Electronic Fund Transfers, a void cheque and authorized contact information is required to receive the deposit. Please visit bc-cfa.org/contact for further information.
2). Online gifts can be made directly through our main website: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=1776&AID=1311