Daphne and Calla Hurwitz pose in front of a lovingly decorated CBT office door. (Submitted photo)

CBT creates giving portal for Tofino and Ucluelet non-profits

“Non-profits, like many other sectors, are weathering a storm right now.”

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT) is facilitating a collaborative philanthropy initiative to connect donors with local non-profits in response to COVID-19.

Monetary gifts to the ‘Community COVID-19 Response Giving Catalogue’ on the CBT’s website—located under the ‘Ways to Give’ tab— will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000 by the Vancouver Foundation.

Since launching the portal for West Coast charities on May 5, the initiative has raised close to $6,000 or over $10,000 with the match from Vancouver Foundation.

“I was aware of the ‘Giving Tuesday Now’, which is a global day for giving and philanthropy, and I thought there could be this great opportunity to all work together to put the community needs and the non-profit needs together in a unified way,” said CBT executive director Rebecca Hurwitz.

Open to all charities that urgently need support, the CBT’s Giving Catalogue currently features more than 10 organizations with clear messaging about what they need the donations for.

“Non-profits, like many other sectors, are weathering a storm right now. Many non-profits depend on program revenue or donations related to their operations. They have great relationships with people who care about them and give generously, but that changed very quickly when COVID changed the business landscape on the West Coast,” said Hurwitz.

“Non-profits are rallying to look at what their priorities are and determine how they can continue through this time of uncertainty,” she went on to say.

Needs have increased for several charities on the front-line like the Pacific Rim Hospice Society and the Westcoast Community Resources Society.

Tarni Jacobsen, executive director of the Pacific Rim Hospice, said the extra funds will float the wages of their Seniors Outreach Co-ordinator Panagiota ‘Pan’ Thymaras-Petch and support free counseling sessions offered by Tara Souch, Registered Clinical Counsellor.

“It’s the seniors and the elders who really need the most help right now. They are isolated and have a hard time getting out. Some of them don’t drive. It’s really tricky for a lot of them,” said Jacobsen, adding they are adapting seniors programs to fit the ‘new normal’, such as introducing a Zoom Lunch Box or sharing videos of Chair Yoga.

Jacobsen said anyone is allowed to access the free, 30-minute counseling sessions.

“Anything you are going through over the last two months, [Souch] would be a great person to talk to,” Jacobsen notes.

Hurwitz said West Coasters are making an average donation to three charities when the visit the philanthropic portal.

“I think we have a growing community of very generous donors and people who care about the people in place here,” Hurwitz said. “Small efforts can make a huge impact. By working together individual donations are pooled and doubled.”

Jacobsen agreed.

“Thankfully West Coasters are amazing, giving, caring and compassionate. They help each other out like friends and neighbours,” she said.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the ‘Community COVID-19 Response Giving Catalogue’ is encouraged to visit: https://clayoquotbiosphere.org/covid-19-response-giving-catalogue. All donations that go through the CBT portal will received a 2020 Tax Receipt.


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