A grants program that launched in the spring “to respond to the ever-changing needs of the White Rock and South Surrey community during times of uncertainty or crisis” distributed more than $275,000 by year’s end.
According to officials with Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, the Rapid Response Grant Program approved 25 applications for funding over its nine months, awarding grant amounts ranging from $1,500 to $69,105.
Grants were available to local organizations, employees of Peace Arch Hospital and Fraser Health staff working in the White Rock and South Surrey area, to provide urgently needed funding for programs, services and activities to assist in alleviating effects of events causing large-scale community impact, natural disasters and pandemics such as COVID-19, a release issued in March proclaimed.
There was no cap on grant amounts, nor a set limit on how many were available.
Seniors Come Share Society, Alexandra Neighbourhood House Youth Space, Peace Arch Hospice Society and multiple Peace Arch Hospital departments were among the two dozen-plus recipients.
At Come Share, grant funds ($5,000) were used to facilitate a three-month program that, in partnership with Sheila’s Catering, delivered groceries and frozen food to seniors.
For Youth Space, $6,880 from the grant program enabled creation of “wellness care packages” for youth unable to afford things like toothpaste, pasta or headphones – basic essentials or items to help them cope with social isolation. Sixty youth received packages, which also enabled them to participate in free online sessions that Alex House provides.
Peace Arch Hospice Society received $2,600 to purchase three laptops and a Zoom subscription, to help them continue to provide one-to-one and group grief support sessions.
And at Peace Arch Hospital, multiple departments benefited from a $9,398.40 grant. Funds were sought to provide iPads to allow isolated patients to communicate virtually with family, and for nurses to respond virtually to the call bell. Medical staff were also able to do virtual care/appointments with patients.
PAHF executive director Stephanie Beck said the foundation was “thrilled” to be able to help “at this critical time.”
It “enabled many organizations to continue to help our most vulnerable community members through their programs.”
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