April 1, 2020 update
I would like to thank our community for all of your ongoing support for Diabetes Canada as we navigate the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.
Further to our announcement of temporary layoffs last week, I know that many of you have questions. While we certainly don’t have all the answers, I am committed to continuing to share with you whatever I can.
Why did this happen?
As we all know, this unprecedented health crisis has caused states of emergency in many provinces and imposed strict rules about physical distancing. As a health charity, we support the instructions of the Public Health Authorities. However, a lot of our fundraising events involve large gatherings that are not possible for the foreseeable future. Another factor is the temporary closure of Value Village stores means we can’t run our Declutter program - a significant source of funding to support Diabetes Canada’s operations. And the economic crisis that COVID-19 has caused has put significant stress on our loyal corporate and individual donors.
We simply had to work quickly to ensure that Diabetes Canada can rebuild when this crisis has passed. Most charities, unfortunately, are in a similar boat. This is temporary. We will rebuild as quickly as possible.
What do the government’s wage subsidies mean for us?
In recent days, the federal government has announced a 75% subsidy on wages of employees in qualifying businesses. We greatly appreciate the efforts of all governments during these turbulent times, and this program looks promising. But important questions remain unanswered that mean we can’t rehire employees just yet. We expect these details will become clearer in the coming days, and we are staying very close to these developments in the hopes that we can avail ourselves of this program as soon as possible. And we have to make a smart, sustainable plan that will allow us to weather this situation for months to come.
What is the good news?
The good news is, we have a strong base from which to build. We had a successful year in 2019, so have a small financial reserve to rely on. We have a wonderful community of staff, volunteers and partners who are united behind our efforts to weather this storm. And we have an interim plan in place that will allow us to sustain core operations through the balance of 2020.
We expect positive news to come as we all come to terms with the implications of the COVID-19 crisis, and we will stay in regular communication with you all.
Thank you for being a valued part of our community. I am wishing you and your families all well. Please continue to respect the instructions of Public Health Authorities.
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