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More than $700,000 in wildfire relief funding handed out by United Way NWT

Even with thousands of people being evacuated from their homes to the south, the work of United Way NWT carries on.
Vehicles line-up for fuel at the Big River Service Centre in Fort Providence on the only road south from Yellowknife on Aug. 17, 2023. The United Way NWT has tried to do its part in helping those displaced with more than $700,000 in funding already approved. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Even with thousands of people being evacuated from their homes to the south, the work of United Way NWT carries on.

Those who work with the agency’s Emergency Response Committee are still doing their thing in the south, said David Connelly, the committee’s chair.

He said all of the contact e-mail addresses and phone numbers remain the same and all funding requests received through its website are being processed as quickly as possible.

Most requests are being approved within 18 hours, he added, and the mandate has been expanded to include southern organizations that are helping NWT evacuees. The funding was formerly for just NWT-based groups only

The total approved funding as of Saturday evening was $715,000, including 13 grants approved in the last 48 hours, said Connelly.

And while the amount of money given out so far is impressive, Connelly said there is a need for more help.

The growing pipeline of requests means an urgent need,” he said.

Every dollar donated to the United Way for wildlife help is distributed without any deduction at all, he added.

Something else which may affect donations, said Connelly, is what’s happening in Kelowna, B.C., and the massive wildfires which has ripped through both the city and the Okanagan Valley.

“We share the concern for the evacuees displaced by the wildfires in Kelowna and our hearts go out to them,” he said. |We fully appreciate the impact that those fires have on those people — it’s had an effect and there’s been a significant reduction in our donations from the public who now need to respond to both areas’ needs.”

If you would like to donate to the United Way NWT, please visit their website at For large donations, you can e-mail, which Connelly said is being monitored 24 hours a day.

About the Author: James McCarthy

I'm the managing editor with NNSL Media and have been so since 2022.
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