It’s become a pandemic trend: people that have extra time on their hands starting micro-fundraisers to help charities and not-for-profits make up for their loss in revenue from cancelled fundraisers this year.
“Right now there is about a 40-per cent gap, I can tell you, between what people are asking from us and what we are able to provide,” said Jeremy Lugowy, United Way corporate and workplace giving manager.
“We need any donations that we can get and we expect that number could grow as the fallout from COVID-19 continues to happen into next year.”
The United Way has found ways to continue raising funds through the pandemic to support non-profits in the valley.
Global Okanagan Evening News anchor Doris Maria Bregolisse donated her time, baking her grandmother’s recipe for apple strudels, stretching dough the way her family has for generations in Slovenia.
Gorman Bros. Lumber Ltd CEO Nick Arkle pledged $1,000 for Doris’ baking and that helps the United Way.
“This was a fun, fantastic way for Doris to reach out to the community and do something that she can do. She loves to bake,” said Lugowy.
From the eight donations for the strudel so far they have raised $2,100.
The United Way’s annual drive thrus won’t look like years past and it has been adapted to maintain safe social distancing while volunteers still deliver breakfast bags in exchange for donations.
The 9th annual United Way Drive-Thru Breakfast will be at the Penticton Lakeside Resort Oct. 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. The 19th annual North Okanagan Drive-Thru Breakfast takes place Oct. 15 at the Prestige Vernon Lodge from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
To raise funds, people have been doing everything from selling things they no longer need to shaving their heads or taking on extreme sporting challenges.
Kelowna’s Ross St. George took on the Everest Challenge on Oct. 5, climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on Knox Mountain in 24 hours to raise funds for Elevation Outdoors. The money he raised will help them keep their scholarship programs for underprivileged youth in place for their winter sports programs.
St. George raised almost $2,000 which is enough for three scholarship seats in the snowboarding program.
“What I did was really hard however it ties into Elevation Outdoors really well because every session there’s a focus and one of the themes they really try to instill in the kids is resilience,” said St. George.
“Yesterday for me was all about resilience every step at the end those last five or six hours at night every step required resilience.”
The boost in micro-fundraisers are a sign that even as we stay apart to maintain social distancing, we have still not lost that sense of community.