By Tammy Schneider
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Not-for profit groups across the province feeling the impact of the pandemic will benefit from the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s new $83 million Resilient Communities Fund. The fund will provide $41 million in support of 486 not-for-profit organizations who need assistance rebuilding and recovering from the effects of COVID-19. The Foundation has redirected provincial funding previously allocated for the 2020 Grow and Capital grant streams into the $83-million Resilient Communities Fund.
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, made the announcement on Dec. 23.
“COVID-19 has created a ‘triple threat’ of health, economic and social crises in Ontario, and this funding will help non-profits adapt to those challenges, and ensure that they can provide the best service to those who need it the most,” said Minister MacLeod. “As we work towards the province’s economic and social recovery, supporting programs like the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund will make a real difference in the lives of individuals and families.”
The fund offers grants of up to $150,000 to eligible non-profit organizations. Organizations can apply for funding to cover a wide range of needs, including mental and physical health and wellbeing supports for staff or volunteers, identify new health and safety processes or purchasing of new technology and personal protective equipment. The fund will also provide grants to support capital needs, such as renovations and facility updates to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters Kincardine and District were awarded a grant of $10,000 through the program. The funding will be used to support a variety of needs, which has seen its fundraising efforts hard-hit because of the pandemic.
“This funding will be used for tech upgrades,” said BBBS executive director, Yolanda Ritsema . “It will allow staff to work more efficiently both in the office and remotely. This will help us to continue to provide quality programming and services for our Littles as we navigate through another lock down, and other continued restrictions. We will also be able to purchase additional technology for our In School Mentoring Program that will hopefully launch in the fall 2021; positioning us to continue to provide virtual mentoring in the absence of being able to meet in-person, and reach even more young people in our community who are in need of an additional supportive developmental relationship.”