If it weren’t for his local community foundation, Rene Gauthier might still be looking for a way to create a homeless shelter in Selkirk, MB.
Thanks in part to support from by the Selkirk and District Community Foundation, Gauthier was able to realize his dream of providing shelter for homeless people in this Interlake town.
“If we save one person out there, it’s worth it,” says Gauthier, chair of Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen Inc. and the man behind the creation of the St. Francis Place Homeless Shelter in Selkirk.
The shelter, which opened in November 2014, is just one of numerous philanthropic initiatives that happen across the province every year.
Many are familiar with the fact Manitoba consistently leads the nation in charitable donations. Yet, something most people are not aware of is, of the 191 community foundations in Canada, 51 are in Manitoba.
Community foundations are independent organizations, built through contributions from community members. They provide a permanent source of financial support to a variety of charitable projects within the geographic area they serve.
Thanks to donors from all walks of life, these foundations improve lives, strengthen families and build stronger communities – forever.
The fact Manitoba has more than a quarter of the country’s community foundations is due, in part, to the efforts of the Thomas Sill Foundation, and to the leadership of The Winnipeg Foundation (Canada’s oldest community foundation, created in 1921).
Chances are that a Manitoba town or city close to your heart has its own community foundation, dedicated to improving life for those who call the area home.
On Nov. 14, 2015, anyone making a gift to a Manitoba community foundation will see their donation stretched by a contribution from The Winnipeg Foundation. For every $5 donated, The Winnipeg Foundation will add $1, to a maximum of $2,000 per foundation. It’s all part of Endow Manitoba‘s 24 Hour Giving Challenge, now in its second year.
Donors can either visit www.endowmanitoba.ca on Nov. 14 to make their secure online gift, or they can call The Winnipeg Foundation on Nov. 14 (9 am to 3 pm) at 204.944.9474 (toll free 1.877.974.3631) to make a gift by credit card over the phone, or they can contact their local community foundation on or before Nov. 14 to give by cheque.
As Manitobans, we have a long, proud history of giving. Many of the important programs and services in our communities depend on support from individuals and community foundations.
Gifts that remember and celebrate
Dr. Ike Hussain worked tirelessly with other volunteers to establish the Selkirk and District Community Foundation in 1995, and he was one of its first donors.
Dr. Hussain passed away in 2012, and Jean Oliver, part of the Foundation’s first board of directors, remembered his community spirit with a gift in his memory.
Gifts that establish funds
Through proceeds from hosting past events, Selkirk Youth Hockey Association recently started two new funds that will help make hockey more affordable for Selkirk families.
Gifts from groups
This year, Winkler hosted the Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling bonspiel, which made a substantial gift to the Winkler Community Foundation.
The Souris Glenwood Foundation has received generous support from the Souris Lions Club, among other groups.
Thanks to participants and sponsors, Westshore Community Foundation’s annual golf tournament brought in nearly $10,000 this year.
Gifts of time, energy and goodwill
Every May, the Winkler Community Foundation and Morden Area Foundation encourage citizens to “Pay it Forward” by doing good deeds. (Of course, for many, that includes a gift to their community foundation, which “pays it forward” forever.) All Manitoba community foundations rely on dedicated volunteers to oversee their operations.
Gifts of all amounts are important and appreciated. They allow community foundations to support charitable projects at the local level.
For more information or to find a Manitoba community foundation near you, visit www.endowmanitoba.ca