Seven local organizations are benefitting under the federal government's $400 million Community Services Recovery Fund.
Sarnia Community Foundation (SCF) Executive Director Mike Barron said over $290,000 is being split between Community Living Sarnia-Lambton, The International Symphony Orchestra, Literacy Lambton, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 249, The Salvation Army, The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority, and Victim Services of Sarnia Lambton.
He said they worked in conjunction with the Canadian Red Cross and the United Way to secure the money.
"The program was set up almost a year ago," said Barron. "It was post-pandemic funding for organizations that, during that time when we were doing lockdowns, found that maybe there was a gap. For the foundation's portion, it really had to do with technologies and maybe some software items. Some were for upgrades like phone services and networking. There was an organization that was serving a lot of meals through their kitchen during the pandemic, and they needed to upgrade their process. There was some other software as well for HR and customer relations management programs."
Barron said the foundation is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
"The foundation started out really with what I think was about a $500 commitment," he said. "Today, we look to give back annually. Last year we gave back about $750,000. This year, in our 40th year and including this money from the government, it'll put us over $1 million. We work with non-profit social services organizations, and we really try and fill a gap or a need within an organization to complete a project. If they want to try and start something that they haven't been able to do, they can apply for grants through the foundation. We also have scholarships for some students going away to school. The way the world is now, there are a lot of expenses. I know for even for myself, with a son away at school, any money that can be used to assist going to school is a great thing."
The Sarnia Community Foundation will be holding their Community Impact Grants presentation on Wednesday, October 18 at the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club.