COVID-19 RRF Grants Surpass $800K to Community


Message from Martin Garber-Conrad, Edmonton Community Foundation’s CEO

April 30, 2020 Edmonton, AB:

Dear Friends,

It’s good to be able to share some positive news about supporting vulnerable Edmontonians through ECF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund.  To the end of April, the Rapid Response Fund has granted $843,150 to 34 charities in the greater Edmonton area who are helping a variety of our neighbours. These initiatives have included food delivery to isolated seniors, mental health supports for young people, domestic violence intervention and more.  And more grants are being provided each day.

I am so pleased to extend a sincere thanks to all the donors who helped make this happen.  ECF seeded the Rapid Response Fund (RRF) on March 25th with $500,000 from its discretionary funds.  The RRF quickly increased to more than a million dollars through contributions from donors and allocations from their Donor Advised Funds.  And the fund received a boost early on from a generous EPCOR donation in the amount of $150,000!

An added bonus is that donations to the RRF received by May 31, 2020 will be matched by the Government of Alberta’s charitable donation matching program.  If you wish to make a donation to be matched please visit the RRF donation page for more information.

On April 21st, the  Government of Canada announced the creation of a $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund. This fund will help charities and non-profit organizations that support vulnerable populations in Canada who are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

This initiative will help community foundations across Canada, together with The Canadian Red Cross and United Way Centraide Canada, meet immediate needs and keep Canadians working in the charitable sector.  ECF will help distribute those funds in our community.

You can see a full list of the RRF grants so far here.  I encourage you to check back frequently to watch the response unfold.  Here are just a few of the projects that have received funding.

Spotlight on Grants

  • April 29: CASA Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health
    Amount: $19,500
    Project: Remote Consultation
    CASA works to improve the mental health of infants, children and adolescents through family-centred clinical services and education. New hardware and software will allow CASA to maintain safety for staff and clients, while endeavouring to support their clients’ needs.
  • April 27: Clubhouse Society of Edmonton & Area
    Amount: $22,000
    Project: Prosper Place Meal in a Box
    Prosper Place clients live with mental illness; most also live below the poverty line. Many also fear that going to the grocery store or the food bank will put them at risk. They are concerned about their food supply, yet also worried about going out in public. Prosper Place will deliver packages of healthy food to clients weekly to help address food security and reduce anxiety.
  • April 21: Westend Seniors Activity Centre
    Amount: $23,400
    Project: Outreach Support
    The outreach department at Westend Seniors Activity Centre has been swamped with an enormous workload supporting the most vulnerable seniors.  In addition to existing barriers, these folks are further isolated by COVID-19. Additional staff will provide enhanced outreach services and assistance getting connected through technology, with specific Chinese language services for that community.
  • April 8: St. Albert Stop Abuse in Families Society
    Amount: $15,000
    Project: Mental Health Support
    With physical distancing protocols, St. Albert SAIF Society had moved all its counselling to phone. They quickly learned that for youth, telephone counselling wasn’t an effective tool. A grant helped SAIF implement the hardware and software upgrades they needed allow secure online mental health supports.

Thanks for growing the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund so we can do more to help.

Very best wishes!

 Martin Garber-Conrad
CEO, Edmonton Community Foundation