Music therapist Akylina Pardalis outside Kinsmen Lodge in Surrey, in a video posted to SurreyCares Community Foundation’s Youtube channel. SurreyCares recently provided a $21,000 grant to provide music therapy for elders in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

$991K in fed COVID-relief grants given by SurreyCares, with more now available

New video showcases work done by the foundation, which has a 26-year history in Surrey

Surrey-area organizations and programs will get financial assistance from SurreyCares Community Foundation in a second round of Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) initiatives.

The first round of the federal government’s $350-million fund, launched in April as a COVID-19 relief effort, saw SurreyCares award $991,148 to 34 organizations in recent months.

Now, an additional $525,250 in grants will be available through SurreyCares, with the application deadline of Oct. 30 via surreycares.org. Grants can be used to cover staffing or resource needs, purchase assistance and more.

Over the past two months, SurreyCares announced ECSF grants for several Surrey-based organizations, including NightShift Street Ministries ($55,000, for the holistic needs of people experiencing poverty, addiction and homelessness in Whalley), Kinsmen Lodge ($21,000, to provide music therapy for elders in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic), DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society ($45,000, to help address growing food insecurity concerns), Backpack Buddies ($42,800, for school meal programs) and Surrey Christmas Bureau ($40,000, to support a COVID-19 readiness project that involves personal protective equipment and an upgraded registration system).

SurreyCares is taking part in the ECSF along with other community foundations across Canada, in partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and Canadian Red Cross.

“As infection rates start to rise again in communities across the country, ongoing support is vital in the fight against COVID-19,” said SurreyCares chair John Lawson.

“Local charities and non-profit organizations are pillars in this community. For over six months, they have been working tirelessly to support those who need it most but the reality is, they’re struggling with increased demand at the same time as revenues have decreased. We’re thrilled to be able to flow additional emergency funding their way through the ECSF but we also see the need for stabilization support for the sector, so they can continue their good work in our community over the long haul.”

• RELATED STORY, from March: SurreyCares creates emergency fund to boost social service agencies ‘in the trenches’

On Oct. 5 a new video was launched to showcase work done by SurreyCares, which has a 26-year history in the city.

(Story continues below video)

The goal of the video is to raise awareness of the current struggles and charitable work of many charities and not-for-profits in Surrey, Lawson noted.

The video also aims “to ensure that the city’s not-for-profits know we are here to support their important work,” added Christine Buttkus, executive director of SurreyCares, with a focus on vulnerable populations in Surrey during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Story continues below video)

SurreyCares’ work with the federal Emergency Community Support Fund is done in addition to other initiatives, in its role as a “charity for charities.” Annually, SurreyCares provides grants in the three categories of General Community, Special Needs and Youth Initiatives.

To support Surrey not-for-profits through SurreyCares, individuals and businesses are encouraged to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund, created in partnership with the Surrey Now-Leader, Surrey Board of Trade and The Saheli Foundation. The goal is to raise $500,000 to support the most vulnerable populations in the city.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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