North Thompson Communities Foundation board of directors: back row (l-r) Louise Lodge (director), Antoon Houben (vice chair), Gilles Leger (director), Rick Pesklevits (director), Franz Friesinger (chair) Front row: Cheryl Thomas (treasurer), Sandy Wetterstrom (grant chair), Lisa Leger (communications). Photo submitted

North Thompson Community foundation spreads the wealth

Funds will be used by recipients for various operations and programs

The North Thompson Communities Foundation (NTCF) succeeded in receiving a $30,000 grant that’s being spread out among various non-profit organizations throughout the North Thompson Valley.

NTCF treasurer Cheryl Thomas said the money comes from the Vancouver Foundation and will be used by recipients to help with various operations and programs.

“We got together on Zoom several times as a board of directors of the NTCF; we have members from the north in Avola, from the Clearwater area, members up toward Wells Gray Park and all the way down to Barriere,” said Thomas, adding they originally only applied for $8,000, but got $30,000 instead.

“When the applications came in we went through them and the ones that met the criteria of the Vancouver Foundation, we either awarded all or part of what they’d requested, and if any of their requests were beyond the scope of what the Vancouver Foundation (outlined), we offered to assist them because we’re also applying to the Community Foundations of Canada to assist people from our area in attaining part of that government money that was given to foundations, the United Way and the Red Cross.”

Yellowhead Community Services (YCS) benefitted heavily from the grant, receiving $4,000 for gas cards and groceries to give to its clients as well as $9,600 to support meal security programs in both Clearwater and Barriere.

YCS’s Better at Home program also received $3,700 to help support seniors who live at home in rural and remote areas with grocery delivery, medications, transportation, and minor home repairs as well as housekeeping.

“We ended up having not enough people apply for (NTCF’s) regular grants this spring, and we had $1,600 left over, so we just topped this Better at Home program up,” added Thomas.

The Wells Gray Seniors Society received $3,000 for gift cards and gas cards to give to local seniors and the Vavenby Christian Church received $3,500 to help families from Avola to Clearwater who’ve been affected by COVID-19 get groceries, gas vouchers and bus fare.

The Barriere and District Food Bank Society received $3,500 to fix its air conditioner and save food that would have potentially been spoiled.

“Their air conditioning was going to give out and everything was going to get ruined,” said Thomas.

“They’d recently got all this other equipment and their air conditioning was ready to blow, and they said, ‘Please, $3,500 is enough to cool the place so the fridges don’t overheat and blow up.’ That was the very first one we approved.”

The North Thompson Aboriginal Cultural Centre Society was the recipient of $2,500 that’s being put toward its National Indigenous People’s Day social media contest, and will largely be used for prizes given to those in the community who take part.

“It feels wonderful,” said Thomas of being the lucky NTCF member who gets to distribute the funds to the various non-profits. “It’s what I live for, to pay it forward.”

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