Posted on May 16, 2024
At our May 16th weekly meeting we were thrilled to be able to welcome representatives of six worthy organizations that we have recently supported with donations totaling $18,000.
Focus on Nature: Executive Director Sarah Fontes spoke on their mission which is to inspire young people to explore and connect with the natural world through photography.  In 2023 they delivered 339 workshops in public, catholic, and home schools. Our donation will help to defray the costs associated with providing four full-day workshops at low-income neighbourhood schools in Guelph.

Olive Tree Projects: This maternal and child care centre in Jacmel Haiti was established by a Canadian midwife in 2008 and provides essential, accessible healthcare and education in a region with one of the highest rates globally. The escalating political unrest in Haiti is severely disrupting the clinic's ability to communicate reliably with the broader medical community and patients in other cities. Their current reliance on cellular networks has proven untenable; road closures often prevent cell tower maintenance, leading to frequent and prolonged outages. In 2023, the introduction of Starlink internet in Haiti presented a groundbreaking opportunity for their operations. This satellite-based system promises stable and robust connectivity, irrespective of local infrastructure challenges. We are providing funding that will cover the supply and install costs for the necessary equipment, as well as the annual service costs for the first year.

Royal City Mission:  Providing a critical service in Guelph, their Drop-In (daytime shelter) Program is a welcoming space for any in need. Some who need it have nowhere else to go - for others the need might be a listening ear or simply just needing a friend. Funding however is always an issue and our donation will cover the cost of offering storage space for people experiencing homelessness. Each individual is given one ~60 litre tote which is stored in a locked room. The community members can access their tote during the Drop-In program hours. They currently have storage space for 80 bins. Our donation will cover the cost of new heavy duty shelving and bins to expand their storage space from 80 to 140 bins as well as replace a number of broken and mismatched bins.
                                                         (Great news!  Project completed already, with our financial assistance!)

Trees for Guelph: Their mission is to enhance Guelph’s environment through tree planting and related projects, education and community leadership. Not just trees, they plant shrubs and herbaceous plants too including hardy, native species found in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest region as well as some species found in the Carolinian Forest region. Our donation will go towards the $25,000 cost associated with purchasing the trees, shrubs and wildflowers for the 2024 School Tree Planting Program in Guelph.

Friends of Mill Creek: A strong public interest in the health of Mill Creek led to its formation in 1997 and is responsible for the creation of the first Mill Creek Stewardship Ranger Crew (MCSRC) in 2003. The MCSRC is composed of 4 local high school students supervised by a leader trained in the environmental field. They spend their summer conducting various restoration efforts throughout the Mill Creek-sub watershed, but also gain insight into the environmental field through enrichment opportunities. Our donation will go towards the cost of the 2024 Ranger program.

Guelph Youth Music Centre: The GYMC has been a hub for music and the arts in Guelph for more than 20 years.  Their goal is to increase their offering of low-cost and no-cost programs for kids and families in Guelph, including group music therapy for children with disabilities, in order to ensure that music is accessible to everyone. Our donation will go towards 3 low cost/no cost 10-12 week programs that will run from September 2024-June 2025.