At this time, there are many people and issues that require immediate attention. 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 this series is to share updates from a spectrum of charitable organizations to garner attention and inspire support for those in need.
Charity name: VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation
Core purpose & mandate: VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic engine for health innovation and transformation in BC. We support the most specialized care, groundbreaking research, and system transformation in Vancouver Coastal Health, BC’s largest health authority.
How is your organization impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our hospitals and health care centres, which are now on the front line in the war against this disease. Our organization has quickly shifted into a support role for all our front line health care workers by opening the COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as the philanthropic catalyst for researching breakthroughs in COVID-19 treatments by opening the COVID-19 Research Fund. Both are essential during this time in order to support the staff who are going to work every day to care for our most vulnerable patients, and for the scientists hard at work to uncover a cure.
Internally, our work has shifted to a remote work environment, ensuring our staff are safe and healthy at home while still conducting business.
How have your fundraising plans changed?
VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is now at the forefront of direct COVID-19 response and research fundraising. Our organization has established fundraising campaigns to provide for the health care workers who are hard at work, and for the researchers currently working towards new treatments and cures.
With many in-person events being delayed or postponed, the Foundation has been working to develop new strategies to connect with our donors, or even take some events online. Our Events team is eager to work with fundraisers to come up with creative solutions, so we can still all come together while physically being apart. Finally, while COVID-19 is top of the public’s mind, the Foundation is still operating as planned to address all of our hospital’s needs. From high-tech innovation projects to community-centered programs, from brain health to cancer care, our work to support health innovation and transformation continues to move forward in all aspects of care.
If there is one story or message you would like to share with our community, what would it be?
The collective response to the COVID-19 emergency has been extraordinary, and our health care heroes across the province have been rapidly preparing for a potential surge in cases. Our actions now are vital – from social distancing to working from home, virtually checking in on family, friends, and neighbours, and helping out those who are isolated for their protection — we can all play our part to fight back against the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
We know it can feel difficult and even scary at times, but remember, we are all in this together. The decisions and actions we are taking today are saving lives, and our health care partners – our health care heroes – are counting on our support.
While we are all changing our daily lives due to COVID-19, we are going to continue to do our work to support our vital health care teams, with your continued support.
How can one support your organization most effectively?
We have established two funds to support COVID-19 needs. The COVID-19 Response Fund, and COVID-19 Research Fund – which are vital in the fight against this disease.
Donations to these funds will be rapidly deployed to support health care staff and researchers as they care for patients.
In addition, by donating to our Most Urgent Needs fund, you can support the most crucial needs at our hospitals and health care centres, now and into the future.
You can also share your support for our health care heroes by joining in the 7 pm cheer, post your inspiring stories online here, and sharing this with your friends and family.
Can donations be transferred electronically? If so, how?
By visiting vghfoundation.ca/ways-to-give, you can easily make a donation online or learn about other giving options. The Foundation is also able to receive donations from private and public foundations, as well as wire transfers.