EDITORIAL: People need the services offered by non-profits, and now those organizations need us too

Last week, the World Health Organization started using the term “physical distancing.”

While we’re heeding the public health message to keep two metres away from the next buggy in the grocery checkout line, our neighbours may be needing us closer than ever. We are social beings, after all, and as the days mount during our collective efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, the practice formerly known as “social distancing” is taking its toll.

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Those most affected are the elderly and infirm, who are isolated and may not have the tech savviness to maintain their social ties.

That’s where our many local non-profits come in. Meals on Wheels gets ready-made food to the doors of seniors and those recovering at home from surgery, injury or illness. Family Services of the North Shore offers phone support to family caregivers. Hollyburn Family Services provides residential care to seniors at risk.

These organizations are working to bridge the distance and to connect the vulnerable in our community with essential services and social supports. But they need our help.

That’s where West Vancouver Foundation comes in. Don’t let the name fool you, this community organization is providing assistance across our three municipal borders through the new COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for the North Shore. With initial contributions totalling $100,000, the foundation is aiming to quickly raise a half-million dollars in a first wave of funding to be dispersed immediately to local non-profits to ensure food security, mental and physical wellness, and to meet the challenges of isolation. We don’t know what’s ahead of us. But we do know the North Shore is a caring community, a community that comes together, even when we’re apart.

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