Grant Stories

Sometimes, it takes just one person to believe in you, one person to say, “You matter,” to make a difference. And one good turn creates a ripple effect in the lives of others.

Corrie-ann Snow experienced such a turning point in 2004 when her Outreach Worker suggested she attend Single Mom’s Camp to give her a break from her constant stress, and for her three kids (ages 1, 7 and 9) to have a rare summer holiday.

“Single Mom’s Camp was an oasis,” says Corrie-ann now.

Youth who feel connected to their community give back too.

When Ibtisam Saeed first landed in Canada eight years ago after leaving Saudi Arabia, her immediate reaction was, “This is a cold country!” But the cool, damp spring of Waterloo Region was the least of the 16-year-old’s worries.

“I wanted to make friends and fit in,” she says now.

The major issues affecting our communities, and our world, are not lost on today’s youth. They want to make a difference and take on these challenges, but they often feel ill-equipped and disconnected.

Building on the “Me to We” concept, EPYC (Empowering Proactive Youth and Communities) designed a program to connect youth to community, provide them with mentoring opportunities and help them realize that their skills and ideas have value.

In our local high schools, students with mental health challenges are facing a harsh reality. If they don’t fit within specific guidelines of a diagnosis, they are left to fend for themselves, often resulting in chronic absenteeism, disconnecting from school and school-based activities, and eventually leading to a withdrawal from school altogether.

Carizon Family and Community Services, in partnership with the Waterloo Region District School Board, received a grant from The KWCF to develop specialized programming to address the needs of these at-risk students.

The Working Centre is helping to breakdown transportation barriers, making our community a healthier place, one bike ride at a time.

The potential at The Family Centre to foster and develop partnerships was quickly realized, and the concept of a non-profit ‘Community Hub’ was a logical next step. It also addressed a key need in the community: small and startup non-profits were facing financial and logistical challenges, creating barriers to developing sustainable organizations able to meet community needs

Two unlikely partners have taken a passion for community building, environmental stewardship and sustainable food production and together have grown it into something spectacular.

The Hacienda Sarria and The Working Centre have come together to create the Hacienda Sarria Market Garden and to offer fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers to the downtown core. Designed as a “teaching garden” the Hacienda Sarria Market Garden also offers hands on learning opportunities for youth and newcomers to this community through their volunteer program.

One of the things that make Waterloo Region unique is the diverse cultural groups that make up our population. Many of these wonderful cultures each have supportive groups that run activities or programs. Programs and groups such as the African Canadian Association, the Coalition for Muslim Women or the South Sudanese group often struggle for resources such as meeting space, governance and administrative consultation and networking opportunities.

Enter KW Counselling Services.

Some may think that climate change is a global issue – something handled by our federal government. However, it is widely recognized that local communities have a unique and important role to play toward helping Canada meet its climate change and clean air objectives.

The Waterloo Region Green Solutions (REEP), Sustainable Waterloo, and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo have formed a collaboration to develop a communitywide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and action plan for Waterloo Region. This initiative, called The Climate Collaborative, will help strengthen the capacity of our community to pursue actions towards climate protection.

True Sport is an exciting movement sweeping across our country. Communities, groups, teams, and individuals from coast to coast are joining forces to ensure that sport of all levels is providing a positive, meaningful, and enriching experience for all who participate.

“Community sport inspires friendship, learning, health, and personal growth,” shares Rosemary Smith, CEO of The KWCF. “These traits are strong influencers of a vital community, which is at the root of the Foundation’s work.”

Behind the scenes the A.R. Kaufman Family YMCA strengthens our community by providing opportunities for personal growth and active involvement for children, youth, adults, and families, but really, they're just letting kids be kids.

Through their new Creative Arts Program, The Alzheimer Society of Kitchener-Waterloo is hoping to connect two worlds - arts and culture to health and wellness.

Morning Glory Café & Bakery opens most mornings at 7:00 am. Staffs are busy interacting with customers, but what those customers might not realize is that staffs are also learning life and work skills.

Pat the Dog Playwright Development Centre is proud to be the only incubator for theatre in Waterloo Region and the only playwright centre in Ontario. Their work has drawn the attention of playwrights from around Ontario, also making Pat the Dog a home for innovation in the arts sector.

With their vision to create a vibrant non-profit sector, Capacity Waterloo Region is paving
the way for cross-sectoral collaboration and knowledge sharing like we've never seen before.

As a premiere Canadian theatre celebration, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival has developed a strategy to support volunteer capacity, but with a local twist.

Canadian summers can be hot. Without a lot of trees at the park to provide shade, some parents from the town of Wellesley decided that a splash park would be a great incentive for their children to spend time outdoors, get some exercise, and stay cool, all at the same time. The group approached the Wellesley Lions Club and formed a Splash Park Committee consisting of club members and parents.

Building a bridge between cultural communities, The Muslim Social Services of Kitchener-Waterloo offers spiritual and culturally-sensitive support and services to refugee women and children.

Since his untimely demise in 1987, Andy Warhol - famous painter, filmmaker, and a leading figure in the pop art movement - has continued to encourage others to see the world from a sense of commonality and mass production.

One in five kids in Ontario struggles with their mental health. Finding the services and tools to help children diagnosed with a mental health problem has been a daunting task in Waterloo Region, until now.

The New Canadian Partnership Program (NCPGP) was established by The KWCF and the United Way of K-W and Area to support integration of ethno-cultural groups and to celebrate diversity and inclusivity in our community.

Targeting the most vulnerable of our community, Get Set Learn 2 is bringing families together to learn alongside one another.

It's not easy to merge four independent, not-for-profit agencies into one. But that's what is happening to RAISE, the Kitchener-Waterloo Friendship Group, KW Meals on Wheels, and Cambridge Meals on Wheels and Community Home Supports. United, these community support service groups can provide more and better services for their clients to improve their quality of life.

The KWCF supports groups interested in building stronger communities. Safety concerns and poor living conditions on and near Paulander Drive in Kitchener brought together a group of community partners. Neighbourhood residents, the Region of Waterloo, Community Fund grants, and an assessment by the Centre for Research & Education in Human Resources (CREHS) contributed to neighbourhood planning.

Today's demand for trained tradespeople far outpaces the number of students entering internships or trade programs. Skills Canada is a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting careers in skilled trades and technologies to youth.

Schoolyards are for learning, playing and socializing - when they're designed with kids in mind. Traditional schoolyards can be "ugly and barren". Without seats, quiet areas or trees for shade, bullying, social isolation or over-exposure to the sun and heat can increase.

The K-W Counselling Services Partnership Program is empowering new Canadians to help themselves-and each other. By providing access to what's available in the city, helping to develop resource guides and promoting cultural pride days, the program brings ethnically-diverse groups together to build friendships and support networks.

"We want businesses to be more aware and better able to hire immigrants, At the same time, we want immigrants to be able to find a home in this community and work in a trade they feel passionate about," says Rich Janzen of the CREHS. "We want to make the Waterloo Region a richer, more welcoming and inclusive community."

Integrating varied groups, art forms and artists, The MT Space celebrates our culturally diverse community. Inspired by Canada 's vast multiculturalism and the lack of heritage-based community theatre, Majdi Bou-Matar founded The MT Space to connect people and encourage communication through productions that reflect the realities of our community.




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