VISU is aimed at assisting residents of Vancouver Island, which lies on unceded Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw territories, which belongs to the many diverse nations of these peoples.
What are we doing?
We have created this fund as a way to bridge the gap for members of our community that are currently being left behind in the rapidly changing situation we all find ourselves in. One size fits all methods are a good start, but we are not a one size fits all community. Vancouver Island is weathering this storm, but we do not all have the same resources to keep us safe.
This fund is a community-based initiative, born out of the belief that no one should be left behind. We are collecting money to redistribute it based on the individuals who apply – this approach will allow us to optimally meet the needs of our diverse community which can’t be adequately characterized by standardized aid programs.
Community action is one of the most powerful tools we have. As a community, we are always more than the sum of our parts. As different forms of assistance continue to emerge, there will always be people who fall through the cracks. We can get through this together without leaving our neighbors behind.
How will it work?
We will be distributing funds to as many applicants as possible on Vancouver Island and will be prioritizing asks using an intersectional needs-based assessment. We will do our best to meet the needs of as many people as we can – and that impact depends on you!
This fund aims to have an open application process in order to accommodate our diverse community. Applicants will submit their applications through an online form that allows for a variety of financial support requests and collects information on their location, current financial situation, and access to government social programs.
Through a panel deliberation comprised of the organizers, we will prioritize recipients based on the urgency of need and ability (or lack thereof) to access other forms of support. Grants will be distributed by e-transfer.
The fund organizers will publish regular anonymized reports describing the types and amounts of financial support that have been made available to our community.
100% of the proceeds will go to applicants, whose information will be kept confidential in accordance with the BC Personal Information Protection Act.
Why should you give?
Because this is our community, and we need to come together to lift each other up in the wake of this pandemic. Because regardless of your race, socioeconomic status, gender, religion, cultural identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, we all have been affected by COVID-19, but not all of us are paying the heavy financial price.
If you can afford to give, every dollar counts and can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Community care is paramount to propelling Vancouver Island forward. We are all stronger together as a community and have the power to step up and take an active role in creating the future we want.
Additionally, we’ve been partnering with a number of local businesses and organizations to host giveaways and raffles, with entrants donating to the fund. If your business or organization is interested in partnering with us, please head to our contact page and drop us a line!
Who is eligible?
In order to be eligible, recipients must live on Vancouver Island and have a pressing financial need that is not adequately met through other funding sources. We specifically are focusing on low-income individuals and/or families who have disproportionately been affected by the crisis.
If you’d like to apply please click here to access the application form. If filling out a google form is inaccessible for you, please email the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an application format that works for you.
Anticipating that there will be a high demand, priority will go towards those with the greatest need in our community. The number of people we are able to help, and the amount they are able to receive, will depend on the success of the fundraising. Therefore, there is a possibility not all applicants will receive funding.
How will we vet recipients?
As a grassroots community-based fundraiser aimed at supporting residents in Vancouver Island, we do require proof of address to ensure that the support is going to members of our local community. We want to offer a social safety net, and a certain level of trust is required to extend that support.