Serge Ibaka is matching up to $100K in donations to this COVID-19 emergency fund

Toronto’s favourite Raptor Serge Ibaka continues to engage Toronto fans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, whether through his Instagram Live talent show or through his philanthropy efforts. On April 9, the six-foot-10-inches power forward pledged to match up to $100,000 through his organization to support Fred Victor’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund — and the organization is reminding fans that the donations will be matched up until April 30.

“Let’s keep the ball rolling!” The foundation said in a recent Instagram post. “Make Serge proud and donate today.”

 

 

Fred Victor is a social service charitable organization that provides programs and services to the homeless and those living in poverty across Toronto. The organization offers everything from affordable and transitional housing to job training, counselling, health services, and community mental health outreach. This COVID-19 emergency fund will specifically support the organization in its response to the pandemic to improve the health, income, and housing stability to the city’s most vulnerable during this difficult time.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift and for Serge’s compassion and commitment to vulnerable people in Toronto. This pandemic has presented us with many challenges, but it is in the face of these challenges that we have seen people stepping up and giving back. It really does make a difference knowing that people like Serge are thinking of us and doing what they can to help,” said Keith Hambly, CEO of Fred Victor in a press release.

According to Progress Toronto, 9,000 people are homeless or precariously housed in the city, and more than 181,000 people are waiting for affordable housing in Toronto, but they often have to wait seven to 10 years before getting an apartment.

The Fred Victor organization notes how the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted how precarious the lives of homeless people really are.

“As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, we need to recognize that people experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable to the spread of the virus. A lack of proper nutrition, compromised immune system, and chronic health conditions put homeless people at a greater risk,” the organization stated in an Instagram post last month. “When you are homeless, you have limited access to clean facilities and don’t have opportunities to wash your hands numerous times a day. If infected, you don’t have a home and can’t go into self-isolation.”

 

 

The Serge Ibaka Foundation has been a generous supporter of Fred Victor. Last March, they collaborated to create the Fast Break Meals Partnership — an initiative that provides free, nutritious meals to residents struggling with food insecurity.

Those looking to donate can do so at helphomelessincrisis.ca and take part in the fundraising-matching campaign. Check out the Serge Ibaka Foundation for more of their endeavours.

Article exclusive to TRNTO