3M joined forces with United Way New Zealand to help community charities and support services across New Zealand experiencing increased demand for services due to COVID-19. On behalf of 3M, United Way New Zealand has distributed NZ$89,173 (US$59,000) in emergency funding to 16 community charities across New Zealand. All organisations are on the frontlines supporting New Zealanders with the effects of the global pandemic.
Teaming up with United Way Worldwide to support relief projects across the Asia-Pacific region, 3M has provided a grant of NZ$1.43 million (US$950,000) that comes as part of a NZ$30.2 million (US$20 million) commitment made by 3M at a corporate level to support COVID-19 relief projects, globally. Through 3Mgives and the 3M Foundation, the company is also funding additional COVID-19 related programmes.
United Way New Zealand is a locally managed and governed member of the United Way Worldwide network, a privately-funded not-for-profit spanning more than 40 countries and territories across six continents. It serves 61 million people across the globe, supported by 2.9 million volunteers and 8.3 million donors.
According to research conducted in April by United Way New Zealand, 98% of community frontline charities have been directly affected by COVID-19. They are currently managing a surge in demand coupled with reduced sources of income. United Way New Zealand Chief Executive, Teresa Moore said small to medium community charities are acutely affected as they are the first port-of-call for those in need and do not have inhouse marketing or fundraising resources.
“While there’s no doubt that COVID-19 is affecting everyone; young people, the elderly and those living with mental health challenges, economic hardship and family violence are disproportionately affected. Thanks to 3M we were able to get funding straight to those charities on the frontlines, so they could help those most affected by COVID-19,” said Moore.
Community charities are also being approached by increasing numbers of people who have not needed support before. Food banks across the country have reported daily demand increasing more than 20 times. A charity supporting the elderly received over 1200 calls in three days as shopping for groceries online became necessary, and mental health charities, particularly those supporting youth require funding to bring in additional counsellors to support a growing number of young New Zealanders in crisis.
The grant from 3M will support United Way New Zealand’s nationwide #Unite20 COVID-19 Appeal. The program is providing funding directly to frontline community charities including Youthline Auckland and Wellington, Heart Kids Otago, Bellyful, Garden to Table, Shine, Woven Earth, North Shore Women’s Centre, Aviva Women’s Refuge, Budgeting and Family Support Services, and Youth in Transition.
United Way Worldwide International President, José Pedro Ferrão, commented: “This pandemic is a new challenge for us, but we have always possessed the community spirit needed to respond to a global crisis. For more than 130 years, United Way and our supporters have faced crises head-on, doing whatever is required to comfort and care for those in need.”
“Since the outbreak began, 3M has addressed the COVID-19 pandemic from all angles and across all stakeholders, and this includes supporting our community partners around the world,” said 3M Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Chris LeBlanc. “It’s important that 3M holds true to its core values during this pandemic by supporting our communities and improving lives. Throughout this global crisis, we will continue to look for ways to help in the fight against COVID-19.”