Six local non-profit groups were nominated for a new category in the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce Awards of Distinction, in honour of Small Business Week.
“These organizations do a lot of work in the community. They go above and beyond and not always just in their own specific area. In the past we were often asked to recognize the non-profit groups and that’s why we have this new Stewardship Award,” said Jennifer McCurdy, president and CEO of the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce.
One agency from the following group will be presented with the Community Stewardship Award: Canadian Progress Club; Chrysalis; Fraternal Order of Eagles; St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village; St. Albert Minor Hockey Association and Victim Services. A representative from each of the nominees was asked to describe some of the ways their organization provides stewardship in St. Albert.
Canadian Progress Club
“Annually the St. Albert Progress Club donates approximately $120,000 back to the community. Our main thrust is to help underprivileged women and children,” said club member Luc Guillemette, who listed the club’s main recipients as follows: Stop Abuse in Families (S.A.I.F.); Uncles and Aunts at Large; Camp Warwa; Kidz Sport and Special Olympics.
Chrysalis works with people with disabilities to provide employment and volunteer opportunities. The organization helps approximately 200 people.
“Our focus is a Human Centred Design, where we try to customize a program for each individual,” said Krishna Tailor, manager of fund development, adding, “It’s great to be nominated and to be recognized. We’re trying to give back and help the community.”
Fraternal Order of Eagles
Members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles contribute in the following ways: they donate to S.A.I.F., Partners in Parks; Rock‘n August and at various events for the Chamber of Commerce.
St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village
St. Albert Food Bank and Community Village is currently assisting about 220 families each month. In addition to food assistance, the organization provides counselling services, a seniors’ peer support group, a family support group, a Cultural Kitchen and a variety of courses such as one about family law.
St. Albert Minor Hockey Association
St. Albert Minor Hockey Association lists some 1,900 youths as part of its organization.
“That’s 1,900 kids from age four to 19. That’s a lot of kids who grow up as hockey players,” said vice president Melissa Nollski.
Nollski estimated the association has at least 200 volunteer coaches, and outside of the hockey rink parents and children also volunteer at Mcdonalds on McHappy Day. The organization assists its own youths with equipment swap days.
St. Albert Victim Services
When people are in crisis and when it seems they have no one to turn to, Victim Services advocates will be there for them. Most often people who are victims of crime or of a drunk driver, or who have experienced a sudden death in their family, will be referred to Victim Services by the R.C.M.P. The referral will come after they call 911.
Last year St. Albert Victim Services assisted 3,000 clients. The number was unusually high because of the tragedy of the Fort McMurray Fire. On average, St. Albert Victim Services assists 1,300 to 1,500 people each year. The advocates provide emotional support and follow-up with clients for as long as they can be of some help.