This is the time of year when we learn which of our local non-profit organizations have been successful in their applications for federal funding through the granting programs of departments like Employment and Social Development Canada and Canadian Heritage.
Local organizations support a number of initiatives that have a positive impact on the community whether it’s building accessible playgrounds and wheelchair ramps, providing job training to individuals who need help, or staging community events that celebrate our cultural diversity.
Through the ESDC’s Enabling Accessibility Fund for example, a total of $56,564 in grants is being invested in our community to help local organizations support projects to improve accessibility for individuals with disabilities: The City of Kelowna will receive $50,000 for its playground improvement project at Ben Lee Park; the Pathways Abilities Society will receive $3,536 to construct a wheelchair ramp; and the Starbright Children’s Development Centre will receive $3,028 to install automatic doors at the Centre’s primary entrances.
Over on St. Paul Street, the John Howard Society’s One Cup at a Time cafe has received funding through the federal government’s Opportunities Fund to provide vocational training and skills development to clients who are looking for gainful employment.
Funding through the department of Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program is supporting the annual Global Citizen Kelowna 2015 (globalcitizenkelowna.org), which includes a series of events that give the community the chance to explore our multicultural roots and traditions.
I was able to attend a few of the events and it was a packed house for Taste of Home.
Taxpayer support for organizations like these provides only a fraction of the resources our organizations need to carry out their activities; a great deal of additional fundraising has to be done as well, and often through the efforts of dedicated, caring and compassionate volunteers.
Phyllis MacPherson for example, has dedicated over 30 years of her life to the Lake Country Food Assistance Society.
The society is currently trying to raise funds to find a permanent home and recently successfully secured a $100,000 contribution.
It still has another $200,000 or more to go and will need the support of the community to succeed.
The good news is that more local organizations will be receiving federal funding support this year to help them with their important work.
I want to thank all those who give their time to support our community in this important way.