The recent Barrie Business Awards holds special meaning to the Barrie Community Foundation. Three of their twelve Board Directors were recognized – individually or corporately – with a 2020 Barrie Business Award. They are: Barb White co-owner of Jeff White Group/ Jeff’s Junk (recipient of the Pay it Forward Award); Jim McIntosh, Partner at Barriston Law (recipient of the Mayor’s Employer of the Year Award); and Michèle Newton, Co- founder and President of Making Change (recipient of the Not-For-Profit or Charitable Organization Award).
Barrie Community Foundation takes part in new Healthy Communities Initiative
Barrie and Muskoka Community Foundations today announced they will work in the Central Eastern Ontario Region to provide $1,386,780 to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $31 million Healthy Communities Initiative. This investment by the federal government will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future.
Organizations are invited to apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide digital solutions to help their neighbourhoods or communities navigate the pandemic and look to build back better in the COVID-19 recovery. This could include projects that adapt crosswalks and access to public transport to allow for safe physical distancing, the creation of community gardens, and art installations, and free wifi in targeted public spaces. A variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non- profit organizations.
Barrie and Muskoka Community Foundations are working alongside Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Urban Institute and other partners to serve communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying.
“As we face increased and continued isolation due to COVID-19, the Healthy Communities Initiative will help our community to connect safely and will benefit the mental and physical well-being of our residents. Public spaces and connecting with others are the glue to our communities: these feelings of belonging and of social cohesion are a big part of what makes communities safe, vibrant and connected” said Marshall Green, Chair Barrie Community Foundation.
The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9, 2021 at 5:00PM PST. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May 2021.
Since April the Barrie Community Foundation has distributed Rapid Micro Grants of $1,000 to more than 20 Barrie charities. Granted through the Barrie Community Foundation’s Crisis Fund, these monies are helping to ease the strain of a pandemic.
“It has been a tremendous privilege for the Barrie Community Foundation to have been able to step forward and help the Barrie community by distributing the monies with which we were entrusted by the citizens of Barrie,” said Marshall Green, Barrie Community Foundation, Chair. “We have been able to provide 21 organizations and agencies who have been struggling to help the disadvantaged in our community during this unprecedented crisis.”
Throughout the pandemic, the Barrie Community Foundation has granted more than $500,000 to organizations – on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. These funds have come from different streams in the Barrie Community Foundation – our endowment fund grants, our local Community Crisis Fund, and the Federal Emergency Community Support Fund that we administered on a local level. These grants ranged from $1,000-$20,000.
“We are grateful to receive a $1,000 Rapid-Micro Grant through the Community Crisis Fund,” says Suzanna McCarthy, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Simcoe and Muskoka. “Now we will be able to replace a piece of aging technology which is no longer fully functional. This single improvement will have an incredible impact on our agency, allowing us to spend more time focusing on serving our community.”
The organizations receiving Rapid Micro Grants this year include:
The Gilbert Centre
Barrie Native Friendship Centre
Glowing Hearts Give and Get
The John Howard Society of Simcoe and Muskoka
Catholic Family Services
Redwood Park Communities
Elizabeth Fry Society
Theatre By The Bay
Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie
The David Busby Centre
Epilepsy (Ontario) Simcoe County
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie and District
Camphill Communities Ontario
Season’s Centre for Grieving Children
Child Advocacy Centre
New Path Youth and Family Services
“We’re grateful to be the conduit to get these funds out, supporting safe shelter for those fleeing abuse, food and warm clothes for those in need, technological support for seniors in isolation so they can communicate better with family and friends, retraining for those who lost their jobs in the pandemic and so much more,” added Green.
Charitable donations to support Barrie’s Community Crisis Fund can be made online here: https://www.barriecommunityfoundation.org/endowment-funds/the-community-crisis-fund/
In June, the Barrie Community Foundation announced $127,249 in grants to 10 local charities. These grants were awarded to address Covid-19 response needs to shelter safely in stable housing; remotely deliver mental health support to children under the age of 14; provide emergency care packages for families with children in cancer care; purchase temperature sensor cameras for long-term care entry doors; and more.
Organizations supported were Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka, Grove Park Home, Elizabeth Fry Society, Redwood Park Communities, Rainbows for All Children, Talk Is Free Theatre, Rotary Club of Barrie, Starlight Children’s FDN, Theatre By The Bay, Candlelighter’s Simcoe.
The ECSF is a $350 million fund that is being implemented with Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and United Way Centraide Canada, in partnership with local foundations across the country. Its goal is to provide support to charities and non-profit organizations serving vulnerable Canadians.
“What we are seeing and hearing is stark. Covid-19 has been a brutal hit to our most vulnerable and the organizations supporting them. With these grants, Barrie Community Foundation supports the work that tells our community that everyone belongs,” said Marshall Green, Vice Chair, Barrie Community Foundation Board of Directors.
In Barrie, eligible organizations can still apply for grants of up to $20,000 from the ECSF. Barrie Community Foundation is reviewing and awarding funding on a weekly basis to support projects that help ensure no one is left behind in COVID-19 recovery measures.
The Barrie Community Foundation exists to support other charities whose work helps make Barrie and area a better place to live.