COVID-19 Causing Huge Strain on Majority of Social Profits, Suncor Donating Over $450K To Support Sector

The majority of social profits in the RMWB are seeing a sizeable jump in need while dealing with a big drop in revenue.

That’s according to a survey done by FuseSocial, in partnership with the Alberta Non-profit Network, where they spoke to organizations in the north zone about how they’re faring around nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over half of the respondents noted they were dealing with an increase in demand, while two-thirds claim they’ve seen a decrease in revenue.

“We know that our communities are in crisis and the challenges affecting the health and well-being of our sectors staff, volunteers, and clients are far from over as we face the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chantal Beaver, FuseSocial’s Executive Director.

One of the main concerns for many social profits is the mental health of their staff.

Nearly 40 per cent state they’ve noticed a rise in stress among their employees. This comes after 80 per cent of respondents noting they had to reduce their workforce numbers early on in the pandemic.

“As a sector, we’ve adapted as best we can, but our resources are already stretched thin and now we’re starting to see the toll this is taking on our staff who are the direct line of support to the people we serve,” added Beaver.

Suncor Supporting Sector

Suncor Energy is allocating $455,000 to support several social profits in the RMWB.

The oil company announced the donation on Wednesday after noticing many organizations were struggling financially after having to cancel fundraising events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fourteen groups will split the funds with over half going directly to support groups that provide mental health resources.

“Significant events like the COVID-19 pandemic can take a toll on our overall well-being, specifically mental health,” said Shelley Powell, senior vice president, Suncor Base Plant.

“That’s why we’ve decided to provide some support for these essential organizations in the community while also piloting new mental health supports for our employees.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association of Wood Buffalo, Some Other Solutions, and Waypoints are among the non-profits receiving funds.

All three have seen the need for their services rise since the start of the pandemic.

SOS, specifically, saw their numbers double early in the pandemic and has noticed a spike of youth needing support. Back in October, they held over 100 group and one-on-one youth sessions.

“We’ve received many requests for mentoring in schools addressing anxiety-related issues, social expectations, youth needing a positive role model in their life, relationship issues, and isolation,” added Jason King, SOS Executive Director.

“It’s evident that our community requires mental health supports more than ever.”

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