NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release December 15, 2014
Victoria, BC – Just in time for the Holiday Season, the Victoria Foundation has approved $1,495,972 in Community Grants to 86 non-profit organizations on Vancouver Island. This brings to over $12.6 million the amount awarded by the Foundation so far this year and over $143 million awarded since the Foundation began in 1936.
“Our congratulations go to all of the applicants for our 2014 Community Grants,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “It is always a pleasure to see the amazing array of dedicated people working and volunteering in these organizations and we’re thrilled to be able to help support such a fantastic variety of projects. Our thanks also go to all of the advisors, committee members, donors and Board Members whose enthusiastic participation makes these grants possible.”
Recent Community Grants range from $3,000 for the Island Pathways organization to create the first-ever map of all public pathways and trails on Salt Spring Island, to nearly $75,000 to the Mustard Seed for coordination and collaboration among the region’s multiple food banks.
One theme that emerged from this year’s applications was around the issue of food security. Ten projects were funded in this area for a total of $264,398, including projects to provide meals for vulnerable seniors and children, a project to preserve traditional First Nations food knowledge, and projects to increase the amount of fresh and local produce available at food banks and schools.
One of this year’s Community Grants will go towards a project at Big Brothers/Big Sisters Victoria. Its aim is to help with the emerging challenges in supporting children and youth that live in families struggling with mental-health issues. The Focus Mentoring program will provide relevant training to mentors so that they’re better equipped to manage relationships and accommodate the needs of these uniquely-challenged individuals.
“The impact of this Community Grant will have a far reaching effect and will change lives,” says Big Brothers/Big Sisters Victoria Executive Director Rhonda Brown. “We all experience adversity from everyday changes and challenges to serious losses, but this is more profound in families struggling with issues related to mental health. Resiliency, the attribute that allows each of us to weather life’s storms, develops as children grow up and is the result of supportive relationships. Focus Mentoring will ensure that our community’s most vulnerable children have a supportive relationship and that the mentors who give so generously of their time to this program are supported with the tools and resources they need to succeed.”
Community Grants have ties to Victoria’s Vital Signs®, an annual community report card produced by the Victoria Foundation and sponsored by Island Savings Credit Union. All of the grants have a connection to one or more of the 12 issue areas identified in the report that contribute to the vitality and wellbeing of our community: Arts & Culture, Getting Started, Standard of Living, Learning, Belonging & Engagement, Safety, Sports & Recreation, Economy, Transportation, Housing, Environment, and Health & Wellness.
A full list and description of all 86 projects funded is available at here.
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Background: Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the fifth largest of nearly 200 across the nation. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date it has invested more than $143 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in B.C. and throughout Canada. Read more about the Victoria Foundation’s vision and mandate.
Editors Please Note: Full list of 2014 Community Grants available here.
For more information, please contact:
Robert Janus, Director of Communications
P. 250.381.5532 C. 250.886.6112