July 11th, 2020

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

By RYAN MCCRACKEN on May 20, 2020.

rmccracken@medicinehatnews.com@MHNMcCracken

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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