Foundation quietly helps others
Lo-Se-Ca to put grant toward new day care
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Saturday, Jan 19, 2013 06:00 am
Today, the Gazette begins a new series on the St. Albert Community Foundation and the grants it provides to agencies and programs in the city. Stories in the series will appear each week for six weeks.
Just before Christmas, there was a small ceremony in a boardroom at the St. Albert Gazette. There were trays of hors d’ouevres and wine was served. The 30 or so people in attendance were dressed nicely and were in good spirits, and not just because of the festive season, the pleasant company or even the drink.
The St. Albert Community Foundation organized the gathering to spread some goodwill in the form of several grants to worthwhile local groups, most of which have more public awareness than the foundation itself.
Kent Davidson, president of the board of the foundation, explained the elusiveness of his organization.
“The St. Albert Community Foundation is about people who want to contribute through endowments. We’re trying not to be too in the face of the community because we don’t want to be seen as interfering with their regular fundraising initiatives.”
Its website (found at www.sacf.ca) explains that the group’s focus is on “quality of life programs and services of proven need or benefit to the community.” It works “to complement other sources of funding in the community and build a permanent legacy for the people of St. Albert” with priorities for grant allocations given to organizations that offer programs for youths or seniors, as well as arts and culture, social and recreation programs.
Grants generally range from $500 to $9,000.
Much like the Edmonton Community Foundation, it operates by accepting endowments from private citizens who wish to make lasting contributions to the community. It’s a younger, smaller organization, however, so it functions on a smaller scale.
The Edmonton foundation helps by investing the St. Albert foundation’s funds along with its own, providing a better return than the smaller organization would be able to get on its own. About 3.5 per cent of the investment income is offered up annually as grants to different groups.
Davidson was particularly grateful for the hand-up, a unique instance of a charity offering significant help to another charity.
“It’s a significant philanthropic exercise,” he said.
Interested parties can learn more about the organization or making their own endowment fund by calling executive director David Reidie at 780-458-8351 or by visiting its website.
Lo-Se-Ca gets support for day care project
Among the several grants that were handed out that evening there was a cheque for $2,000 to the Lo-Se-Ca Foundation. The money was to go toward a play park that will be one feature of a project that has been long in the making.
“With the grant money what we’re trying to do is open up a day care,” explained Rebecca McLeod, the agency’s human resources assistant who accepted the grant during the evening presentation in December.
Lo-Se-Ca has 130 staff members, a number of whom have young families that require a day care, she said.
“We’re finding that a lot of our staff are new parents or they have younger children. We’re just thinking recruitment and retention strategies. I think day care would definitely be something that would be in a lot of people’s interests.”
The day care would initially be open only for the organization’s own staff members but eventually could be opened up to the public.
“Initially there would probably be 10 families, but once we branch off we’re hoping to accommodate as many people as we can,” McLeod said.
Lo-Se-Ca stands for Love-Service-Care. The organization offers residential and day supports plus other programs to people with disabilities. While most of its 130 employees work outside of its main Campbell Business Park facility, that centre is still densely populated with some administrative staff, along with various professionals who offer programs to numerous clients.
It also has the popular ground-level thrift store, I’m Unique, that sees a lot of foot traffic in the front and donations in the back.
Because of this space crunch, the proposed day care would be located off site at an as-yet unannounced spot. McLeod anticipated that it would be up and running within the next few months.