News: $19M windfall for Alberta charities

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Published in the April 28th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


$19M windfall for Alberta charities

LINDA HOANG
Edmonton Sun

It was a windfall for those involved in Alberta’s non-profit sector Tuesday as $19 million in government grants was given to charity and non-profit organizations across the province.

Representatives from various groups cheered as Premier Ed Stelmach announced 1,741 Alberta-based groups, including more than 400 in Edmonton, would be receiving donation grants as part of the government’s Community Spirit Program.

“Thank you for the work you do every day to make Alberta a better place for all,” Stelmach said to members of a handful of grant recipients such as Edmonton Meals on Wheels, the Robin Hood Association for the Handicapped, and Women Building Futures Society.

“About half of our clients can’t afford the full price of a meal,” said Kerryn North with Edmonton Meals on Wheels. “It’s really important as a community we support each other whether it’s with time or with donations. Our organization really relies on community support and we wouldn’t succeed without that.”

Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals to seniors or people unable to leave their homes. The organization was awarded $25,000, which is the highest amount a non-profit can get through the Community Spirit Program.

The Community Spirit Program is made up of a charitable tax credit incentive as well as the donation grants. It’s meant to encourage Albertans to donate to their favourite charities because the more Albertans donate, the more grant money non-profit organizations are eligible for from the Alberta government.

The Robin Hood Association for the Handicapped also received a $25,000 grant, which will go towards providing services to 4,500 families and 240 adults in Edmonton and the surrounding area.

“This is the second year we’ve received money through the program to a tune of $50,000 combined, so we’re overwhelmed,” said Robin Hood Association director Brad Kotowich.

The Community Spirit Program launched last year and has awarded $38 million to non-profits and charities.

The province plans to set aside $16 million for 2010-11 grants.

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