A local foundation is banking on the fact that Surrey does indeed care – especially for our community’s most vulnerable.
The SurreyCares Community Foundation has created a special emergency fund to benefit the non-profit sector during these unprecedented times. The Surrey Community Relief Fund will support social service agencies in Surrey who are “in the trenches,” as they help people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Diane Sugars, the foundation’s executive director, said it’s vital to get help to where it’s needed quickly.
“We’re going to work hard and fast and get this money out to those people who need it,” said Sugars.
Working in partnership with the Surrey Board of Trade, the Saheli Foundation and the Surrey Now-Leader, SurreyCares says the goal is to raise $500,000 and distribute it to designated agencies within the next two weeks.
Sugars said tough times often brings out the best in people and she is confident the community will rally to support the fund.
“People want to do something,” Sugars said. “They just need a way to pull it together.”
Furthermore, she said she hopes the fund will start an uptick in positive stories coming from the community.
“There’s so much negative out there,” Sugars said. “I don’t know about you but I’m really tired of hearing about the virus. Some positive news is always good.”
Anita Huberman, Surrey Board of Trade CEO, said right now it’s vital to support organizations delivering services to the most vulnerable in our community.
“We all understand that the extraordinary measures put in place to fight this pandemic are putting increased demands on many of our social support agencies,” Huberman said. “This fund will help them to not only meet those demands but to do so in as safe a manner as possible.”
The Saheli Foundation’s Devinder Maan said her foundation is grateful to the many “amazing” organizations in our community providing front line assistance to the most vulnerable.
“The pandemic we are facing with COVID-19 clearly proves we are all in this together, we are one,” Maan said. “Pooling our resources together in the safest possible manner, we must come together as a community to help everyone in need.
“Together we shall persevere.”
The recipient organizations, selected based on high priority needs, will be:
- Surrey/North Delta Meals on Wheels – A volunteer community service that delivers freshly prepared, ready to heat, nutritious meals to recipients’ homes. They are mostly supporting the vulnerable elderly population at this time, Sugars said. Click here to learn more.
- Cloverdale Community Kitchen – It exists to build a strong and healthy community with a focus on alleviating poverty in Cloverdale, Surrey and Langley. Sugars said funds raised through the Surrey Community Relief Fund will help in supporting a new delivery program that delivers food (made in their commercial kitchen) to seniors. Click here to learn more.
- Surrey Food Bank – Provides food to families living in Surrey and North Delta. They pride themselves in supplying nutritious food in a respectful and dignified environment. Click here to learn more.
- Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre – Supporting All Nations Youth Safe House (ANYSH) in Surrey. ANYSH offers a 30-day home-like space that is safe, comfortable and caring when youth ages 16-18 are enduring times of hardship. ANYSH is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It offers six warm, clean beds, daily nutritious meals, access to computer, phone TV and leisure activities as well as other supports. Click here to learn more.
Surrey Food Bank executive director Feezah Jaffer said support from organizations like SurreyCares makes all the difference in the world, considering the food bank is 100 per cent community funded.
“It’s invaluable,” Jaffer said. “Organizations like SurreyCares and their partners are so valuable to us and the more people who can rally and help those in need the better, because we will be seeing an uptick in numbers for sure.”
The SurreyCares Community Foundation is not-for-profit charitable organization that provides funding, financial administration and research for the community. It has operated in Surrey since 1994.
For more information on SurreyCares and to donate to the Surrey Community Relief Fund , click here.