This piece is co-signed by Anne-Marie Hubert, Eastern Canada Managing Partner, EY, and The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Vice-Chairman, RBC Capital Markets
When we agreed to co-chair Centraide of Greater Montreal’s campaign two years ago, we had no idea that we would be struck by a global pandemic. However, this period has been an opportunity for us to discover even more about Centraide’s essential role in our community.
Since March, Centraide of Greater Montreal has deployed unprecedented efforts to support agencies in their work to help people made even more vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. This crisis has hit everyone hard, but it has hit people experiencing poverty and social exclusion even harder.
As it does every year, Centraide is now running its annual fundraising campaign to fight poverty. This campaign represents its main source of revenue to sustain a network of agencies that will be essential for people in need during the year to come.
Needs are immense
Even before the pandemic, 614,000 Greater Montrealers were living in poverty. The pandemic has only increased this number.
For example, 26% of Quebeckers have experienced food insecurity since the start of the pandemic, and 25% of Montreal adults have reported experiencing psychological impacts. Many young people also risk falling behind in their studies, which is a key determinant of school dropout.
Despite the crisis, health restrictions, the soaring number of requests for help, and exhaustion felt by those on the ground, community agencies continue to work tirelessly to keep up with demand.
Given the current second wave and the long winter period ahead, community agencies are preparing for major challenges: more people in isolation, aggravated mental health problems, youth in distress, families experiencing food insecurity, and many more issues. Agencies will be on the front lines to help people through this difficult period.
A call for generosity
Our tenure as co-chairs is coming to a close and is not a period we will soon forget. However, if there was ever a time when we needed to be particularly generous, 2020 is the year!
If you can, we encourage your company to respond to Centraide’s call for support. Now, more than ever, we invite you to be generous and help foster our collective spirit. In this unprecedented crisis, let’s give Centraide the ability to preserve our social fabric. Let’s show our pride in belonging to this unique community that leaves no one behind, no matter the difficulties we face.
Anne-Marie Hubert, Eastern Canada Managing Partner, EY
The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Vice-Chairman, RBC Capital Markets
For more information or to donate to Centraide: centraide-mtl.org.