Arthur Irving Family Foundation Donates $1-Million To COVID-19 Relief Fund

Arthur Irving. Image: submitted/CHSJ News file photo.

SAINT JOHN – The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation has received a significant donation to its New Brunswick COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

The Arthur L. Irving Family Foundation has donated $1 million to the fund, aimed to help the areas of greatest need in provincial healthcare facilities.

“We’re absolutely blown away by (the foundation’s) generosity,” said the hospital foundation president and CEO Jeff McAloon. “We’re so happy that many people in our community are stepping up to do whatever we can to help our healthcare workers – we need them right now.”

The Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation’s COVID-19 relief fund was established at the outset of the outbreak in Canada, as schools were beginning to close, and social restrictions were first being implemented.

“We had a number of our donors call us and say ‘what can we do? What is the need, and how can we support you?'” said McAloon.

With long-lasting impacts expected from the novel Coronavirus, the hope is the relief fund will help hospitals be prepared for any needs which arise.

“Long after the general community feels the direct impact of this, our healthcare workers are going to be dealing with this,” said McAloon.

As economic impacts affect many across the province, McAloon says the hospital foundation didn’t want to put too much pressure on residents who are feeling the stress of layoffs.

“We want to be careful not to be seen requesting things from the community when they are uncertain, however there are a large number of people in the community that do want to do something,” said McAloon. “That’s why foundations like us exist. We’re here to help connect people in the community that are willing and able to make a difference do just that.”

Since setting up the relief fund, the hospital foundation has also had $20,000 donations from the Beaverbrook Canadian foundation.

“There’s a tremendous desire out there from some in the community to help make a difference,” McAloon said.

Anyone interested in making donations to the New Brunswick COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund can donate online.

Ben Burnett is a reporter with COuntry 94/97.3 The Wave, a Huddle content partner.