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'Need is even greater': Virtual auction supports 6 local charities
VANCOUVER -- Would you like to lease a sports car? How about owning some Canucks Collector memorabilia? Or what about hosting a backyard barbeque for your entire neighbourhood?
Those are some of the prizes up for grabs at Saturday’s Fighting COVID Together Online Charity Auction, which is hosted by Able Auctions.
The event benefits charities that are providing health care, conducting research, delivering meals, helping children with special needs, and supporting women and communities.
“We have six organizations that truly represent the Lower Mainland in terms of doing wonderful work right in the trenches with COVID-19,” said auctioneer Howard Blank, one of the organizers of the event.
The six charities are: Dr. Peter Aids Foundation, Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, VGH Ho and UBC Hospital Foundation, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Variety the Children’s Charity and Sources Foundation.
“Charities are having issues getting their voice heard because, you know, COVID is taking up all their time out there. And a lot of people think that because we're sequestered at home or we're doing social distancing everything is stopped out there but the need is even greater,” Blank said.
Angela Chapman with the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation said they’ve had to cancel next month’s golf tournament and some other community events were also put in jeopardy.
Luckily, they were able to move their sponsored items to the online auction.
The funding will help support the frontline workers and research for treatments and vaccines.
“The reality is -- being in the center of both the defense and offense, as I call it, against COVID-19 -- as we move out of this first wave, what we've got to be aware of is that we can have a second. So we want to make sure that our healthcare workers are supported going into that second wave,” Chapman said.
She said the health of the community isn’t just about hospitals and that’s why they’re excited to work with the other charities.
“I think we are probably a bit more fortunate than these other charities and all the more reason for us to come together with them and make sure that they're also getting supported,” she said.
A quarter of nonprofits may not make it in the fall
A recently released report shows 74 per cent of non-profits surveyed were experiencing reduced revenue from fundraising.
“No Immunity: B.C. Nonprofits and the Impact of COVID-19” was conducted by Vantage Point, the Vancouver Foundation, the City of Vancouver and the Victoria Foundation to examine effects the pandemic was having on non-profits in the province.
The report found nearly one in five organizations reported they have closed down or are anticipating it.
The survey also found that 23 per cent do not think they can operate more than six months.
Alison Brewin with Vantage Point, a non-profit that supports other non-profits by offering training and workshops, said the results were “alarming” and “quite scary.”
She hopes the report will help decision-makers better understand what kind of funding will be needed to help the charities thrive.
“It's important to understand as we move into the recovery phase, what kind of community supports there are out there that may have to disappear and what we need to do to support those community programs to continue to exist,” said Brewin.
The report calls on governments, businesses, volunteers, donors, other non-profits and the public to find ways to support vital community resources.
Brewin said she was thrilled to see Able Actions provide a platform for the six charities.
“I'm a big believer in collaboration and partnerships. And the idea that Able Auctions saw this need and stepped up, it's a lovely thing and it's going to make a difference,” she said.
The auction begins at 7 p.m. Prospective buyers need to create an account and get it approved prior to bidding on items.