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United Way allocates $100K in community funding to organizations on Manitoulin Island

Friday marked a banner day for community groups on Manitoulin Island that are still struggling under the weight of the Covid-19 pandemic with the United Way announcing the allocation of more of the $1.2 million it has been asked to distribute to agencies across the northeast.

Two groups are about to get a lot of support – the Manitoulin Legal Clinic and the Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands Public Library will share in $100,000.

“These funds will help strengthen organizations allowing them to adapt and recover and to continue to grow their programs,” said United Way Northeastern Ontario’s executive director Mary Lou Hussak.

The legal clinic’s executive director, Laura Hunter told CTV News this will go a long way towards helping those left behind during the pandemic.

“A provincial mandate meant we had to close but we kept our doors open but to have that reach out to people through an online service is definitely a factor we wished we had,” said Hunter.

“Hopefully we will now have so people can connect with us.”

The library was selected to receive funds to help add to its lending abilities – which are now going to include equipment like snow shoes, binoculars and a metal detector along with additional equipment for living with disabilities.

“We’re here as a community hub and we want to be able to meet our community’s changing needs,” said library chairperson Ned Martin.

Hussak said things changed because of the pandemic.

“So there was a lot of need for agencies to recover from COVID by offering online or technology-based solutions and programs,” she said.

“So we saw the majority of (recovery) funding requests came in to redo spaces and redo programs.”

Elected officials who were in attendance for the announcement at the library told CTV News that it was a great day.

“To see this investment from the federal government to support their recreational equipment lending and other ideas that the board’s come up with,” said Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands mayor Al MacNevin.

“We couldn’t be more pleased.”

Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes echoed MacNevin’s sentiments.

“This is a step forward for this community legal clinic, there’s a lot more the government can do especially with Internet and cell services in northern Ontario but I think this is really a good news story,” she said.

The United Way held a similar announcement last week in Greater Sudbury with Meals on Wheels and told CTV News more announcements are coming – adding a total of 25 agencies across the northeast will be getting help from the $1.2 million fund. Top Stories

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