Help COVID-19 Coming Together - Vancouver

June 10th update: round 2 applications closed with funds distributed to 80 individuals and families. Round 3 will be our final round of distribution, opening in July 2020.

April 13th update:
round 1 applications are closed and we helped over 300 families and individuals so far with financial aid donations (as of April 13th 2020).

We launched an app on March 25th 2020 to connect those that need help with those that can offer support, as our Facebook group does not scale to meet the amount of people that are requesting need for help. You can view the app here  for Vancouver and here for Victoria. We are onboarding other cities as well.

We work in solidarity with similar funds in Vancouver

DTES Response: a coordinated groundwork effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the DTES Vancouver. Please donate what you can and share widely, they need our support. https://canadahelps.org/en/dn/m/47375 

Black in BC Community Support Fund for COVID-19: this Black community support initiative is a fundraiser for a low-barrier, emergency, micro-grant program for Black people in the Metro-Vancouver, and more broadly, the British Columbia, Canada area. Please donate what you can and share widely, they need our support. https://www.gofundme.com/f/covid19-black-community-support-vancouver 

Chinatown Care Packages: Chinatown Cares gets groceries out to senior citizens and at-risk community members in the Chinatown and Strathcona community in the face of COVID-19. https://www.gofundme.com/f/chinatown-care-packages 

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We are reaching out to the Vancouver community in light of the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 is having on our most vulnerable communities in the Greater Vancouver area. 


As COVID-19 unfolds, it has been highlighting the way pandemics disproportionately and unevenly impact different populations, such as migrants, racialized people, people with precarious work or insecure housing, poor people, disabled people, and elders. The current situation is creating an unprecedented threat to many of the most vulnerable community members in our beautiful city. 

And so we decided to take action. We did so by creating a Facebook group to connect those in need with those able to offer help. The reaction has been overwhelming. We have already reached 28,000 community members (as of March 22nd 2020). The group has seen vulnerable people from across the Greater Vancouver area post their urgent requests: requests for food and medicine delivery; financial assistance; need for sanitary products; asks for baby products; links to credible advice and government support services, and posts from folks who are simply scared and asking for (virtual) companionship during this time. Their stories and testimonies highlight the ways in which people across our community are in need of our support right now. 

We, as members of this community, have the power to reach out to our neighbours and help build community support going forward. Now more than ever, it is important that we work to build networks of solidarity and support vulnerable and targeted communities. 

Our platform is having an impact. We have been able to help connect thousands of neighbours in need with those able to offer support. We have also been involved in supporting the creation of 11 other similar groups across Canada and the USA, using a Mutual Aid Framework that underpins this community work, including groups operating in Squamish, Victoria, and New Orleans.

This GoFundMe campaign is a call for your financial support. Where will the money you donate, go?

We will be funding between $25-$100 max. (per person) to help towards groceries (could be voucher format) rent, and basic needs. This is to help folks with immediate relief funding to help them make ends meet before the Government's recently-announced Emergency Care Benefit package takes effect in early April 2020. The amount distributed to applicants will be determined based on the size of the funding pot we receive and how many people apply (we have an online application form where people can apply for funding, here ).

Our team will be assessing requests from the community group and making donations to Vancouver individuals and families in need. While there will be some screening of applicants, we will heavily rely on an honours-based system and community self-regulation. Our goal is rapid response relief. We believe in the goodwill and loving kindness of our community and hope that only those with real, urgent needs will apply to receive a donation.

We may also require a very small portion of funds (1-5% of funds) to support the central organizing team with building out more technical infrastructure to support the scaling of our systems, so that we can serve more community members.  We launched an app on March 25th 2020 to connect those that need help with those that can offer support, as our Facebook group does not scale to meet the amount of people that are requesting help. You can view the app here. 

This emerging model of emergency relief funding due to COVID-19 is working in many other cities around the world today - with your urgent support we can make this happen in Vancouver.

Who are we?

We are regular folks in Vancouver who have been active in various organizing campaigns, mutual aid work, and more importantly, in community with each other. This is a result of love for community. We are a collective of volunteers, not a non-profit. 

We will be overseeing the withdrawal of donations made, into a personal bank account, as we are not set up as a formal not-for-profit or charity. Avery Shannon, a co-organizer of this fundraiser, will handle all donation withdrawals and distribution of funds for this crowdfund campaign via their personal bank account.

*Credit and Gratitude to the Seattle Mutual Aid Solidarity Network for providing a great fundraising framework for us to copy.

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Media coverage as of March 25th 2020

CBC Radio Early edition:
https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-91-the-early-edition/clip/15767943-amid-the-growing-covid-19-crisis-a-group-of-volunteers-is-raising-funds-for-those-in-need 

https://www.vancourier.com/community/vancouver-covid-19-survival-fund-campaign-raises-29k-1.24104613 

https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/vancouver-coronavirus-survival-fund 

https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/vancouver-news/survival-fund-vulnerable-communities-covid-19-2191652?utm_campaign=later-linkinbio-viawesome&utm_content=later-6039051&utm_medium=social&utm_source=instagram 

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Example testimony from a community member served via COVID-19 Coming Together (Vancouver) - used with their consent 

 Chase Gray had their request resolved a few days ago:

46266188_1584560040270356_r.jpeg

“Hey yall, hope ya doin ok!

So, I'm finding myself extremely anxious about food right now. I'm an indigenous, trans, and disabled dad of 1, and were on disability, and living in abbotsford, which is far from a lot of community for me. My partner and I just spent a week in victoria so that I could attend a doula training workshop there ( because of the pandemic, I have to pause so many of my career plans ), and before that, we definitely didnt buy any food, and we ate all the perishables and stuff so that we didnt leave anything behind to go bad. As soon as we got home (wednesday) we all felt like garbage, and some of yall probably saw my post begging for baby tylenol so for a little while, we didnt have much of an appetite, so the lack of food wasnt a huge deal.

Well, we're on the mend now. Except for the fact that people are going absolutely bat shit with food hoarding. And the fact that we have like less than $10 to our name until Friday.

If anybody has some extra cash to spare so that we can hit up a butcher and produce store before child tax, so that we actually have some food in this house, it would be really appreciated we want to just wait until Friday, but I keep seeing pictures of empty shelves and imagining what it's going to be like on Friday. I wont even be able to go shopping with my partner to get the things we need, I'm coughing way too much, and we really fear the crowds might give them sensory overload because of cheque day.

Luckily, we are fully stocked for baby, we have pretty much everything we need to last until next Wednesday for him, and even then well only need baby food pouches. But for us? That's a whole different story I think we will need MAX $60, the butcher here has a really good pack of frozen food for 30$(some really good meats+eggs, bread, milk), so were definitely wanting one of those, and the rest we would use for whatever non-frozen items we need.

Thank you for reading, I hope everybody is doing well..."

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Our team

We are a group of concerned community members who have recently come together to help neighbours in need. The original members and fundraising lead are listed below, but we acknowledge with gratitude the collective efforts of the many volunteers who are rapidly becoming a core part of this team. 

Avery is an Autistic queer, trans nonbinary Person of Colour youth who was adopted out of foster care. Avery is a multiply disabled wheelchair user who has been a lifelong advocate for numerous intersectional issues, most recently in climate justice with Our Time: a national youth-led movement to bring an intersectional Green New Deal to Canada

Gabby is a first-generation settler on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh territories in her final year at UBC, studying Environmental Science and Human Geography. She organizes with the UBC Social Justice Centre around housing justice, environmental justice and community care.

Ishmam is a second-year student at the University of British Columbia. He organizes with the UBC Social Justice Centre.

Kate is a climate justice organizer born and raised on unceded Coast Salish territories. Alongside completing an undergrad in First Nations & Indigenous Studies at UBC, Kate organizes with UBCc350 and Our Time Vancouver.

Ravi is a recent settler on these unceded, stolen Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututhand territories. He is a Product Manager in the technology sector and has been living in Vancouver for the last 2-years. 

Yolanda works between climate justice, anticipatory humanitarian action, and wilderness therapy. She welcomes any opportunity to build community and connect people to each other and to stories of social transformation.

Donations

 See top
  • Robyn Lee 
    • $80 
    • 4 mos
  • Nadine Pedersen 
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Benjamin Harper 
    • $30 
    • 4 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $300 
    • 4 mos
  • Isaac Becker 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Coming Together (Vancouver) (2)

Ravi Patel 
Organizer
Vancouver, BC
Avery Shannon 
Team member
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