Grassroot efforts stifled

Andrea Seale, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the group delivers support to people going through cancer and to their caregivers, runs summer camps for children living with cancer, and advocates on health policies. All of those areas have been hit by what Seale said is likely the greatest financial challenge in the organization's 80-plus-year history.

"We're supported by a tremendous amount of grassroots effort from volunteers in the community," Seale said from Vancouver. "Some of that effort can go online, but certainly not all of it. "

About 60 per cent of net proceeds go to client services in the province in which the funds were raised, and the rest supports research, which Seale said has been deferred and slowed during the pandemic. 

Seale hopes that determination and creativity in finding online ways for people to support the charity will help it get through the pandemic. But, she said, it is hard to predict how long it will take for services to return fully.