HALIFAX -- The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, from how we work, to how we celebrate, and even how we support our favourite charities.

The IWK Telethon for Children, which airs on CTV Atlantic every year, is one of the many charity events impacted by the virus.

“The IWK Telethon is a tradition that has brought Maritimers together for the past 35 years and symbolizes the true spirit of our community. We have always been there for each other united in our connection to the IWK,” says Jennifer Gillivan, the president and CEO of the IWK Foundation.

The telethon, which was scheduled to air on June 6 and June 7, will not go ahead as planned this year.

“We are sad that we can’t go ahead with the broadcast, but we are committed to bring content, as much as we can, using innovative ways to reach our community. We’re forever grateful to our community because they’ve always stayed with us. We’ve been in this relationship for over 35 years with our Maritime community, who in fact have built the IWK,” says Gillivan.

“We know some people are suffering and we would never expect them to do anything other than take care of their selves, and they are in our thoughts, but for those who can continue to support us, we hope they will.”

Much of the fundraising for the telethon has already taken place. Those donations will go towards priority equipment.

“The pandemic is happening and that just heightens and intensifies what’s already happening at the IWK,” says Gillivan.

“Kids can’t wait. They are already there. The sickest of the sick are there and then there is the heightened piece now, with the potential for infection during the pandemic. So the hospital still needs the equipment, they still need the beds, they still need the priority pieces that we fundraise for year-round. Probably now more than ever, they need that support.”

Gillivan says the IWK Foundation is committed to finding ways to celebrate donors and share the stories of patients and care teams at the IWK.

“Thank you to our broadcast partner CTV. Thank you to our many loyal donors who fundraise year-round for the IWK and thank you to our incredible telethon volunteer committees across the Maritimes,” says Gillivan.

“We applaud your unwavering commitment to the IWK. Stay healthy, safe and support each other.”

Donations can be made online at www.iwkfoundation.org/telethon or by calling 1-800-595-2266.