A Vernon-based organization has awarded more than $300,000 in grants to 35 local charities and not-for-profits.
For the first time since 2019, the Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) held an in-person Community Grants Reception, which offered CFNO the opportunity to connect its donors with local causes and shine the spotlight on the charitable organizations that work hard to create a stronger, more connected North Okanagan.
Highlights from the grant recipients include:
- CMHA Vernon - Peer Counselling Program, youth counselling youth. Peer educators will draw on their own experiences with mental health as a tool to show peer learners how to overcome similar challenges.
- North Okanagan Cycling Society - Trail Ninjas Youth Programs, provide fun biking and coaching experiences to youth along with a trail building component that empowers participants to be recreation stewards.
- Powerhouse Theatre - Relaxed Performances, offer people with diverse viewing challenges to attend theatrical performances. A friendly environment is created in the theatre house where the lights are left on, doors open, cast and crew move slowly with no loud noises, and patrons can come or go as they please.
“CFNO wishes to recognize two special donor contributions from the Galbraith family and the Finch family. Combined, their contributions doubled the granting dollars awarded to local charities,” said executive director Leanne Hammond. “These donors are deeply connected to our community and value the importance of investing in the charitable sector to create a resilient community for us all.”
Annual grant funds were also awarded to a range of local community social services and arts programs, local food growing and youth centred programs, diverse abilities projects, and senior activities.
“Thank you to our local charities for supporting our community through the good and the bad times.” Hammond said. “You help to build 'community' within our neighbourhoods and warm the hearts of the people who live here.”
In addition, four local youth have each been awarded $2,000 grants to lead and implement projects in partnership with local organizations.
One of the projects is in partnership with the Sqilx'w Apna Society, titled N'sis'ooloxw Youth and Medicine Project, which will focus on connecting youth with medicine, culture, language and plant knowledge amongst peers.
This spring, the Neighbourhood Small Grants program also allocated $20,000 to 40 local individuals to plan local projects that focus on building community and making their neighbourhoods better places to live.