At the onset of the coronavirus COVID-19, 11 United Ways in Atlantic Canada launched the Atlantic Compassion Fund (ACF) with  Atlantic Business Interiors, The fund is designed to help agencies across Atlantic Canada respond to the immediate and emerging needs of their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Think about the challenges

Homelessness, food insecurity, mental illness and precarious employment are difficult things to have to experience. Now, as public health measures are being made across the Atlantic region in response to COVID-19, people who are already vulnerable are facing major disruptions and new risks – and many are in crisis right now.

Now, more than ever, support for those who need it most

This Atlantic-wide fund will help meet basic needs, reduce the impact of further marginalization and bring people back together when the time is right.

Led by United Way Halifax, members of the ACF include:

The funds will help vulnerable people who need shelter, food, to connect with their community or for mental health supports. While COVID-19 continues to spread across the world in unprecedented ways, the AFC priority is to determine the local and regional impacts faced in the Atlantic provinces.

Give locally – help regionally

Individuals and organizations in the region can give to the fund through their local United Way Centraide web page They can direct their gift to the local United Way of their choice.

So far more than $3M has been raised in the AFC and is hard at work in the community. Funds are being used for:

  • Grocery store gift cards for families who can no longer access community programs they depend on.
  • Training for new call centre volunteers so they can support youth who are alone, at-risk or scared.
  • Care packages of food, hygiene products, and clothing for people recently released from correctional facilities.
  • Supplies like hand sanitizer, soap, gloves and masks for families who are not able to purchase these items themselves.
  • Help for seniors who don’t have the technology or budget to stay connected, fed and healthy while they self-isolate.

As of May 14, more than $2,044,024 has been disbursed into 307 registered charities in Atlantic Canada.