Lindsay Gaudette, Peninsula Co-op’s director of marketing and community relations, Chris Forester, executive director of Connections Place, Mark Breslauer, chief executive officer of United Way Greater Victoria, and Heather Skydt, director of marketing and communications with United Way Greater Victoria, spell out Peninsula Co-op’s donation to the Blue Love Campaign. (United Way Greater Victoria/Submitted)

Lindsay Gaudette, Peninsula Co-op’s director of marketing and community relations, Chris Forester, executive director of Connections Place, Mark Breslauer, chief executive officer of United Way Greater Victoria, and Heather Skydt, director of marketing and communications with United Way Greater Victoria, spell out Peninsula Co-op’s donation to the Blue Love Campaign. (United Way Greater Victoria/Submitted)

Peninsula Co-op donates $100,000 to United Way Greater Victoria’s Blue Love Campaign

Campaign aims to raise $1M to help improve access to mental health support

The chief executive officer of the United Way Greater Victoria (UWGV) hopes a $100,000 donation from Peninsula Co-op will inspire future donations to the Blue Love Campaign designed to help thousands of individuals facing mental health challenges. UWGV also announced that Peninsula Co-op will match every dollar raised up to $100,000.

“We are elated to have such a well-respected and community-minded business partnering with us,” said Mark Breslauer, UWGV’s chief executive officer. “It is our hope this generosity will inspire many to give. We expect this campaign will allow our valued frontline agencies to help blue hearts turn red by individuals knowing they aren’t alone anymore.”

This comment refers to the UWGV’s Blue Love Campaign which stems from the idea that hearts are often black and blue from years of trauma or other life-changing events such as a global pandemic.

RELATED: United Way funding bolsters food programs for Victoria’s vulnerable seniors

The Blue Love Campaign aims to raise $1 million for counselling, peer support and outreach services by the end of 2021 through corporate gifts, public donations and loyal United Way donors. This additional funding could hire up to 15 support workers or counsellors to help about 9,000 to 15,000 adults, families, children or youth facing mental health challenges.

Lindsay Gaudette, director of marketing and community relations at Peninsula Co-op, said many family members, friends and neighbours are struggling with their mental health and are often not able to get the support they so desperately need. “We hope that our community will be inspired to rally alongside us to provide more resources so we can help heal hearts and minds,” said Gaudette.

Funds raised from the campaign will benefit Blue Love community partners such as Connections Place, Family Services of Greater Victoria, Hulitan Family Services, Greater Victoria Citizens’ Counselling Centre, Mental Health Recovery Partners, NEED2 Suicide Prevention, Education & Support, Pacific Centre Family Services, South Island Centre for Counselling & Training, Sooke Family Resource Society and Vancouver Island Men’s Therapy Centre.

Chris Forester, executive director of Connections Place, said his organization is thrilled to be part of the campaign. “An investment in Connections Place would enable us to expand our programming to include much needed evening and weekend services and hire peer support and outreach staff to work with existing and new members in our community,” said Forester.

Country Grocer will also participate in the campaign by turning their stores ‘blue’ through a point-of-purchase till campaign in support of Blue Love. Customers will have the opportunity to purchase a blue heart for $2 that will go towards funding the Blue Love Campaign.

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