2020 Holiday Ask
To Our Supporters and Friends:
This has been a year of changes for TAPS and the communities we serve, and when the pandemic hit this Spring it was pretty clear we would need to significantly adapt the way we operate in order to help our clients. In an incredibly short time we were faced with brand new challenges, including ministerial orders and emergency benefits that changed the entire landscape of the legal system we operate in overnight. For the low-income community, especially those precariously employed or facing layoff, confusion was widespread, and there was little support available to navigate these changes.
It was imperative to us at TAPS that we respond to the immediate challenges facing our clients. In April, when masses of people faced layoff and loss of income, we re-deployed resources to provide help with federal emergency benefits. By adding Employment Insurance and CERB to our areas of service, our employment standards advocate Isabelle Dehler-Hyde and staff lawyer Daniel Jackson were able to respond to countless calls for help.
When the moratorium on evictions was lifted and hundreds of people were at risk of losing their homes, we responded by increasing staffing to our tenancy team to help during one of the hardest periods I have seen in 15 years of doing this work. In September, when the extended tax deadline arrived and countless low-income people were faced with losing vital benefits, we reallocated staffing to help our tax coordinator Sharifa Riddett in meeting that demand.
With your support, and through emergency pandemic related funding from places like the Victoria Foundation, we have weathered the storm of 2020 pretty well. In fact, I am incredibly proud of the way our staff have responded to this crisis.
But there is reason to believe that 2021 is going to bring new and different challenges, as the economic impacts of the pandemic on both the government and our grantors truly starts to take hold. This could have a real impact on TAPS’ revenue for next year, as we have already been notified by one of our funders, the United Way, that they will be discontinuing their Community Impact fund, which has provided us with support for over a decade.
In recognition of these challenges and the financial hardships that await, Andrew Beckerman, a TAPS supporter and philanthropist, has stepped forward to propose a way to help us prepare for next year. Andrew has recognized the importance of our work in these turbulent times right from the beginning, and is prepared to match all of the donations we receive from now until March 1st, 2021, up to a total of $5,000.
This means that thanks to Andrew’s match, any contribution you can provide before March 1st, 2021, will effectively be doubled.
We know we are not the only organization asking you for money at this time, but we believe that TAPS is unique in our dedication to client representation and how much of our funding goes directly to supporting people who do not have the ability to navigate complicated legal processes without our help.
We ask that you consider supporting this important work as we face uncertainty in the year ahead, and thank you helping us continue to advocate for Victoria’s low-income community through these strange and variable times.
Together Against Poverty Society