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$150K for local charities

The Central Okanagan Foundation (COF) recently distributed $151,240.12 to 21 local charities as part of their fall 2012 grant cycle.

One of the grant recipients, Roots of Empathy (ROE), received funds to support their program which provides volunteer instructors to teach a curriculum focused on encouraging caring and compassion with young schoolchildren in Kindergarten, Grade 3 and Grades 6/7.

ROE is an evidence-based classroom program that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression among schoolchildren by raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy.

“This grant will allow us to continue expanding the award winning Roots of Empathy Program in SD #23, and encourage our students to be more caring and compassionate,” says Colleen Edstrom, Roots of Empathy Program Volunteer Coordinator.

“We have grown rapidly from three programs to 24 programs in 14 schools in just four years, and we plan to reach even more students next year.”

The COF supports charities in 8 key categories including: youth and family, arts and culture, education, heritage and historical, health and the environment.

As COF Grants Manager, Cheryl Miller explains, “The unique thing about a community foundation is that we don’t just focus on one type of charity; we are broad in our approach to funding. We recognize that a vibrant community depends on a diverse range of services and opportunities.”

The COF's own granting program takes place twice per year in May and October. Funds from their endowments are pooled into a Community Fund and the income that is earned on these funds is what is granted out to the registered charities. Their mission is to provide an ongoing contribution to the quality of life in the community through the stewardship of entrusted funds, grant making and community leadership.

Other grants from the fall grants cycle were distributed to the following Central Okanagan charities:

  • Arion Therapeutic Riding Association
  • Athletics for Kids Financial Assistance (BC)
  • British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
  • Building Healthy Families Society
  • Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society
  • Central Okanagan Land Trust
  • Children's Festival Society of Kelowna
  • Cool Arts Society
  • Elevation Outdoor Experiential Programs
  • Hope Air
  • Kelowna and District Society for Community Living
  • Kelowna Ballet Society (Ballet Kelowna)
  • Kelowna Family Services Centre Society
  • Kiwanis Music Festival Society of Kelowna
  • Lake Country Food Assistance Society
  • Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO)
  • Roots of Empathy (ROE)
  • Sing For Your Life Foundation, BC
  • Society of Friends of the Early Music Society
  • The Bridge Youth & Family Services Society
  • The Salvation Army - Kelowna


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