The Comox Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) hosted a virtual community celebration on Jan. 27 to recognize recent grant recipients and the work undertaken by the many non-profit organizations in the Comox Valley, in support of children and youth, seniors, the environment, adults with diverse abilities, arts and culture, and the community’s most vulnerable residents.
The 32 organizations and projects received close to $375,000, with a strong focus on the larger systemic issues facing our community, such as housing insecurity and homelessness, food insecurity, addictions, and early years development.
As part of this year’s granting program, many of the decisions were made by the organizations themselves, as part of CVCF’s efforts to shift decision-making and power to the community. The work done by these community decision-making tables has provided CVCF with a model of success for moving forward.
“During this fiscal year CVCF will distribute over $750,000 in the form of grants and scholarships,” said CVCF president, Christine Helpard. “We are very proud of this achievement, but we know more work and money is needed as many worthy and deserving projects were not funded. We are incredibly thankful to the individuals and organizations who directly serve our community and are pleased to be considered a partner as, together, we work to change systems and change outcomes.”
As part of the celebration, attendees heard from several organizations and individuals, who spoke of their programs and services and the impact of their work in the community. The Comox Valley Early Years Collaborative’s Building Connections project shared highlights of their work in the north Courtenay area, which is bringing neighbours and families together around children’s play and common interests.
Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports shared experiences from the perspectives of both instructor and student about their program which offers ski instruction (alpine and nordic) for people with physical disabilities and cognitive challenges. Vickey Brown spoke of her experience applying for and receiving a Neighbourhood Small Grant to create a pollinator pathway in her Cumberland neighbourhood. The Walk with Me team described its community action approach and provided hope for change in relation to the ongoing toxic drug poisoning crisis. The Comox Valley Hospice Society shared information on its programs and volunteers, including its upcoming move to a new facility as they work to ease the journey of dying and grieving.
The list of grant recipients follows: