Red Deer area non-profits are adapting to the COVID-19 reality by selling “virtual daffodils” and re-imagining other spring fundraisers.
For the first time ever, the Canadian Cancer Society is suspending all face-to-face fundraising activities, including its spring daffodil sales.
Instead of selling the yellow spring flowers at booths, the Canadian Cancer Society is now selling “virtual daffodils” that can be sent electronically to anyone needing encouragement.
“Become a daffodil champion and use your digital daffodil to spread positivity and share hope — because we’re all in this together,” states a message on the society’s website.
While charitable donations are expected to drop off this spring, with many people affected by the job losses and reductions because of the pandemic, the cancer society is asking those who can afford it to make a contribution to help keep phone and online support going.
Other spring fundraisers are being postponed because of ongoing uncertainty about how long virus prevention measures will be needed.
The Central Alberta Women’s Outreach Society is pushing its June Walk-A-Mile-in-Her-Shoes fundraiser into the fall.
“We’re wanting to be respectful of what’s going on,” said executive director Barb Barber.
While a new date hasn’t been set yet, Barber noted this fundraiser is badly needed, as it collects about $75,000 annually for the society.
“We’ll have to see how things go…”
Non-profits group can apply for federal assistance toward their staffing costs, but are still waiting to hear if any government money is available to float the programs that depend on fundraising events.
“There’s a big push on now… letters have been sent to the federal government, said Brett Speight, CEO of the Central Alberta United Way.
Alberta’s economy was already struggling. Speight said, “Now that businesses are also affected by the pandemic, it makes it even worse.”
Fortunately, he added, the United Way’s largest annual fundraiser is conducted in the fall.
The umbrella organization funds 39 programs offered by 32 partner agencies — including K.C.S, a Sylvan Lake early learning group that had to cancel its Capes and Crowns fundraiser last weekend.
Red Deer’s Primary Care Network, meanwhile, is getting creative in coming up with a different kind of online fundraiser to replace this spring’s Mother’s Day Fun Run.
“We’re re-imagining it,” said Val Jensen, the group’s events co-ordinator, who expects to know more about the online event later this week.
The Primary Network raised $100,000 over the past few years for school lunch programs organized by The Mustard Seed.