The Co-operators Announces Grants

The Co-operators Announces Grants to Community-Based Organizations in Ontario, Manitoba and B.C.

Community-Based Organizations Benefit from $213,000 from The Co-operators

Guelph, ON, May 26, 2009 – Today, The Co-operators announced $213,000 in grants to support the work of 11 community-based organizations that help disadvantaged people move toward self-reliance. Each of the organizations provides important services designed to help marginalized people overcome barriers and become more fully integrated into the economic and social networks of their communities.

“Many of the organizations operate on very tight budgets, and in these economic times fundraising can be extremely difficult,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “Yet community-based organizations such as these make enormous differences in the lives of those they serve, by providing supports that would otherwise be unavailable to them.”

The funding was provided from The Co-operators Foundation, through which the organization supports social economy enterprises and other worthy causes in Canada. The following grants were announced today:

Causeway Work Centre – Ottawa
Causeway will put its $20,000 grant towards Cycle Salvation, a bicycle refurbishment enterprise that will train and employ people with mental illness and other disabilities, as well as people who are economically disadvantaged.

Le Regroupement des Partenaires Francophones (d’Ottawa) – Ottawa
Le Regroupement received a $20,000 grant for Equili-Brio, which will create employment for people with intellectual disabilities in an integrated environment, working alongside non-disabled employees.

Centretown Laundry Co-op – Ottawa
Centretown Laundry Co-op provides employment opportunities for recent immigrants, homeless and low-income/unemployed persons, where staff members wash and deliver laundry to clients. This year’s grant of $20,000 is the final instalment in a three-year funding arrangement.

A-Way Express Courier – Toronto
A-Way Express Courier is a non-profit social enterprise that provides employment to people who have been involved with the psychiatric system. The $20,000 grant will be used to create additional employment, and support A-Way’s business planning, marketing and equipment needs.

Enterprising Non-Profits – Toronto
ENP pools contributions into a single fund that matches grants of up to $10,000 to non-profit organizations. This program will enable The Co-operators grant of $15,000 to help even more non-profit entities advance their social mission and strengthen communities. 

Sistering: A Woman’s Place – Toronto
Sistering enables homeless, under-housed, and low-income women to take greater control of their lives by providing a safe, welcoming environment and an opportunity to participate in meaningful economic activity. The $20,000 grant will assist with the Inspirations Studio, which provides low-income female artists with the opportunity to design and produce ceramic and craft products.  

Common Ground Co-operative – Toronto
CGC provides stable co-operative employment opportunities to those with disabilities. It is the umbrella group of four food sector operations owned by more than 55 people with intellectual disabilities. The $20,000 grant is the final instalment of a three-year grant arrangement which has enabled the co-op to provide job-coaching for its partners/employees and achieve business growth.

Welcome Inn Community Centre – Hamilton      
The $20,000 grant will assist Welcome Inn to deliver its PLAN program, which empowers low-income individuals in Hamilton to build assets by breaking down common barriers.

Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre – London
Since 1989, Pathways has assisted individuals and families in overcoming multiple challenges to meaningful employment by providing job finding supports, industrial skills training workshops, ESL training and connections to more than 500 local employers. The $18,000 grant will help relieve some of the Centre’s operational and program costs.

SEED Winnipeg – Winnipeg
Manitoba Eco-Guiding Enterprise (MEGE) seeks to create jobs for entrepreneurial youth and aboriginals who have a high interest in sustainable tourism, and cultural traditions and values. The $20,000 grant will help MEGE finalize the project and deliver a specialized training program for youth.

JustWork Economic Initiative – Vancouver
JustPotters, under the umbrella of JustWork Economic Initiative, helps participants who struggle with barriers including inadequate housing, mental and/or physical disabilities, addictions, and caring for two or more children as a single low-income parent. The $20,000 grant will support these individuals through a pottery enterprise.

About The Co-operators:
Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a 100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of more than $7 billion. It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community involvement, and is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.

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For further information, please contact:
Leonard Sharman
The Co-operators
1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707