As we have all discovered, life in a global pandemic is full of challenges. For many of you, these challenges are layered onto the challenges you were already facing before COVID-19 emerged as a serious threat. For many reasons, COVID-19 presents heightened challenges for many people with spinal cord injuries. It also presents challenges for organizations like SCI BC, particularly those of a financial nature.
I am very proud of how SCI BC has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our excellent team was able to quickly transition our services online, and our Information Services team worked (and continues to work) tirelessly as calls to our InfoLine doubled. We worked with our community, government, health care, and private sector partners to get valid, trusted, and critical information out quickly and often.
Please see our regularly updated blog, SCI and COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for information about the virus and all things related to it. In addition, check out our BC SCI Network Response to COVID-19 blog to see all the services SCI BC and our BC SCI Network partners have available right now
I am also pleased with how so many of our funders have allowed us to be flexible with how their funds are used during this unprecedented time. Knowing that we will be facing difficult financial times this year, we are very pleased that a number of foundations and funding agencies are making emergency grants available to the non-profit organizations.
This week, SCI BC was pleased to receive two COVID emergency response grants, which are helping our organization continue to provide service throughout the province and will help provide much needed supplies and cleaning services to a small number of high risk people with SCI in BC. We also received additional support from a current sponsor.
The Vancouver Foundation’s Community Response Fund
A big thank you to the Vancouver Foundation for providing COVID response funding that is allowing us to meet the demand on our Information Services, and to expand our communication outreach throughout the province. The funding is making sure our InfoLine team can answer all of questions so many of you have, and to provide critical information and updates related to the COVID virus, pandemic measures, and the various supports and programs being made available.
The Craig H Neilsen Foundation Emergency Relief Fund
We are also very grateful to the Craig H Neilsen Foundation for providing ICORD researcher and physiatrist Dr. Andrei Krassioukov with a grant that will provide support to a number of people with SCI in BC. SCI BC partnered with Dr. Krassioukov on this grant and will be hosting online “Ask an Expert” sessions with health professionals over the coming weeks. This will be your chance to ask health specialists and others questions about COVID-19 and SCI. The first online session will take place on April 27 but please continue to check back often for more events on our online calendar. We will also be working with Dr. Krassioukov to identify high-risk people with SCI in need of supplies and home cleaning services. We are currently working with medical suppliers, government, and others to source supplies. More information on this will be provided in the coming days.
Envision Financial / First West Credit Union
We would like to send a heartfelt thank you to our friends at Envision Financial/First West Credit Union for reaching out to us earlier this month to provide emergency funding during this challenging time. Donations like this enable us to continue to provide Peer programming and adapt our services as needed. We’re so grateful for their dedication to our community.