Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion part­ners with others to of­fer $364K to lo­cal char­i­ties

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - SPECIAL AREAS - By Ryan McCracken Al­berta News­pa­per Group

The Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion of South­east­ern Al­berta is help­ing en­sure lo­cal char­i­ties can thrive through the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Just four days af­ter an­nounc­ing $52,100 in grants for lo­cal char­i­ties as­sist­ing vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions af­fected by the pan­demic, the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion re­vealed that $363,720 in fund­ing is avail­able to fur­ther sup­port char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions across the re­gion in a part­ner­ship with United Way Cen­traide Canada and the Cana­dian Red Cross. The ini­tia­tive will be funded through the fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s $350-mil­lion Emer­gency Com­mu­nity Sup­port Fund.

“I be­lieve that ev­ery­body is af­fected by this COVID-19, re­ally it’s very broad,” said CFSEA as­sis­tant di­rec­tor Sue Ed­wards. “We’re def­i­nitely see­ing food se­cu­rity, men­tal health, home­less­ness, child and youth care – it’s broad, it’s af­fect­ing ev­ery­body. This money hope­fully is go­ing to reach all those ar­eas.”

El­i­gi­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions can ap­ply immediatel­y through an on­line por­tal at cfsea.ca. Ed­wards says ap­pli­ca­tions take around 20 min­utes to com­plete, and a guide is avail­able at the CFSEA web­site to as­sist with the process.

“The grants com­mit­tee here lo­cally, re­gion­ally, reviews them. Then the money is ac­tu­ally dis­persed from Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tions Canada just be­cause they can get it out so much quicker than us,” she said. “You have to be a char­ity with char­i­ta­ble sta­tus. If you do not have char­i­ta­ble sta­tus and you are non-profit, then you may ap­ply be­cause this is in part­ner­ship with the United Way of Canada and the Cana­dian Red Cross. Both of them may also sup­port non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions but we at Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tions can only fund the qual­i­fied donees of reg­is­tered char­i­ties.”

The big news comes on the heels of Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment that the Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion is split­ting $52,100 be­tween 11 lo­cal char­i­ties work­ing to sup­port those af­fected most by the pan­demic, with a sec­ond round of fund­ing planned for the com­ing months.

“Our board of di­rec­tors de­cided to re­pur­pose our Smart and Car­ing grant that usu­ally takes place in the spring,” said Ed­wards. “We set up a quick ap­pli­ca­tion for a quick turn­around to get this money out into the com­mu­nity as soon as pos­si­ble.”

The Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion’s Al­berta South East Re­gion chap­ter and St. Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety re­ceived $10,000 each, while Medicine Hat Fam­ily Ser­vice re­ceived $8,000. The Brooks Food Bank was awarded a grant for $6,000, while the Oyen and Dis­trict Food Bank As­so­ci­a­tion and the Hanna Food

Bank As­so­ci­a­tion each re­ceived $5,000.

The Medicine Hat BeYOUth Cen­tre ($2,500), Brooks and County Vic­tim Ser­vices Unit As­so­ci­a­tion ($2,000), the Em­press Friend­ship Cen­tre ($1,500), Com­mu­nity Food Con­nec­tions ($1,100) and the Cham­pi­ons Cen­tre ($1,000) were also part of the first round of fund­ing.

“You can tell by those agen­cies that were funded for that first round of fund­ing, they took a look at food se­cu­rity, men­tal health and reached out to our ru­ral com­mu­nity funds as well,” said Ed­wards.

The Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion will con­tinue dis­tribut­ing emer­gency fund­ing from re­pur­pos­ing grants on a rolling ba­sis over the next few months. The ap­pli­ca­tion in­take process runs from May 27 to June 5 and will be funded in part through the prov­ince’s char­i­ta­ble do­na­tion match­ing pro­gram, which is aimed at ad­dress­ing the in­creased and chang­ing demand for ser­vices cre­ated by the pan­demic.

“The dol­lar amount we do not know yet, that we’ll prob­a­bly find out that first week in June,” said Ed­wards. “We have to have our to­tal fund amount to the Gov­ern­ment of Al­berta on June 1 and they will be en­hanc­ing that, The week of, most likely June 15, to­ward the end of that week, we will be an­nounc­ing those grant re­cip­i­ents for that sec­ond round of fund­ing.”

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