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Over $1.8 million in grants doled out following NWT wildfires, says United Way

United Way NWT has doled out over $1.8 million in support grants this year.
Following a devastating wildfire season, United Way NWT says it has distributed more than $1.8 million in support grants in the territory. Photo courtesy of GNWT

United Way NWT has doled out over $1.8 million in support grants this year.

The non-profit service organization published its latest figures in a press release Oct. 12.

“We are honoured to have been able to award over 100 grants to organizations and agencies supporting NWT evacuees over the past six months,” said David Connelly, chair of the United Way NWT Emergency Response Committee. “Whether it’s the $1 million we’ve provided for direct aid and gift cards for evacuees, or the other $800,000 we’ve provided to those helping evacuees with a wide range of needs, we want to thank everyone for their donations that have made it possible for those on the ground and in communities to make a tangible impact during this difficult time.”

More than 45 per cent of the grants awarded were to South Slave residents to assist them with the evacuation. Another 27 per cent of donations went to residents of Yellowknife while another 25 per cent was sent elsewhere in the North Slave and Tlicho.

Donations were distributed in a number of ways. Over $165,000 has been delivered through fuel gift cards, another $370,000 on grocery gift cards and another $160,000 on general use gift cards.

Pet and animal support organizations received in excess of $95,000 while youth centres received in excess of $65,000. Human service organizations, such as homeless and women’s shelters, were awarded $50,000. Mental health organizations received $45,000 while $80,000 went to evacuation centres to help support people staying there.

More than $80,000 was spent on personal hygiene services and the United Way NWT sent nearly $360,000 out in direct aid. An additional $310,000 was spent on food needs and $65,000 was spent on transportation needs during the wildfire crisis.

United Way employs a lone contractor who works roughly 10 to 15 hours per week, though during emergencies like the NWT wildfires, the organization hires a second part-time employee to handle the volume of requests.

“Thanks to the generosity of corporate donors, private and family foundations, individuals and small businesses and the labour community, United Way NWT raised over $700,000 in September 2023 alone, with 100 per cent of donations received from the public going directly to wildfire recovery,” the news release stated. “The United Way NWT has received just over $2.6 million in donations throughout this wildfire season, and disbursed almost 70 per cent of these donations to initiatives supporting needs during evacuation and re-entry.

“United Way NWT is looking to distribute the remaining 30 per cent to projects and organizations working on wildfire recovery.”

The organization is still taking requests for funding. CRA certified non-profits, charities, as well as community governments and First Nation governments who need help recovering from the NWT wildfires should reach out to the United Way by email at or visit to fill out an Emergency Response Grant application.

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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