Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation

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 ESCF100LogoFinal100 People Who Care’s

FIRST Grant provided

$9,500 to a local charity!


The winner was KCET’s Re-Wild The Family!

It was a packed house representing the 95 current members of the 100 People Who Care, and there was excitement in the air!

Tuesday evening six local charities made presentations to the 100 People Who Care – Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation chapter in hopes of being chosen for their first ever grant.

  1. Phil McNamee Charity Foundation: Trail accessible for visually impaired and mobility devices.
  2. YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin- Food Works: food security programs like ‘Good Food Box’
  3. YMCA St. Thomas- Elgin: Inclusive Camping Program- summer day camp for children with special needs
  4. Inn Out of the Cold St. Thomas Elgin: Crisis training for staff and volunteers and programs at their Drop In Center
  5. Kettle Creek Environmental Trust: “Re-Wild the Family”- 7 families a year (x 2 years) will receive a camping mentor and supplies.
  6. Elgin County Library: Maker/Innovator in Residence program and improvements to maker space and STEAM curriculum.

Each of the six presentations was asked to answer the question of how their proposed project addressed the grant criteria of “New, innovative projects that address local need”. All presentations were expertly delivered and inspiring! “It is our sincere hope that each of these projects receives the funding they require, and we encourage you to build direct relationships with these charities” said Amy Dale, ESCF Board and Grants Committee Member. “We will do our part to help get the word out by recording and sharing video presentations and look for new opportunities through our other Funds.” All videos will be posted on the ESCF website once edited.

There was certainly a theme to applications and presentations as the evening unfolded., and that was’ Our physical, mental, and social health depends on us being more active and being more connected to our environment and to our community’.

It was not surprising then to see who won the vote! Each paid up member of the 100 People Who Care donor circle had one vote.

And when those votes were tallied…. the winner was…… Kettle Creek Environmental Trust with their new project called “Re-Wild the Family”!

This funding will provide startup funds for a multi-year project that will work with 7 families each year who have never camped before and help them to build a meaningful connection with nature and the local natural treasures we have in Elgin County. Each family will receive camping equipment, free camp sites and a mentor who will support quality experiences and basic education of the natural world and how best to enjoy it!

Some clips from their presentation last night helpPicture1 explain the need for this project (as presented by Elizabeth Van Hooren of the Kettle Creek Environmental Trust):

“This is your modern family … 45% of Elgin St. Thomas residents reported to the Health Unit that they are not active at all…. Bored, unhealthy, disconnected … most believe they don’t have the means to get healthy … don’t have enough money to do organized sports or take a family vacation … so they remain status quo … indoors behind their screens.

Re-wild the family is innovative because it is not just a one off experience …

Inactive families who have never camped before because of lifestyle circumstances, immigration, or income are shown that an active lifestyle doesn’t mean an expensive lifestylePicture2

A family can camp for $37 a night … if they have the right gear

A small investment … and suddenly instead of families reporting inactivity … they discover the wild side

  • Bird watching
  • Hiking … there are countless hiking trails that can be access for free
  • Camping

Healthy Active Living….just getting outdoors can improve your health”

The Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation extends our CONGRATULATIONS to Kettle Creek Environmental Trust and a heartfelt thank you to all who submitted applications and presented last night! This was a wonderful way to learn more about what each of these charities sees as their upcoming priorities and the exciting potential in our community!

The next Grant Cycle for 100 People Who Care will be Spring, 2017. Watch for details and application deadlines on our website www.escf.ca.

June 2016 Grant. KKET

PHOTO Credit Emily Castelein:  Left to Right: Kelly Ruddock, ESCF Chair, Elizabeth VanHooren, KCET Secretary/Treasurer  and Catharine Sloan, KCET Marketing Director