Twelve charities in the running to win half a million dollars in donations
Twelve charities working in the health, environment, education or social services fields that have presented promising educational projects have been selected by the jury for iA Financial Group’s 7th edition of its Canada-wide philanthropic contest. From these finalists, the public will now be asked to choose four winners, which will each receive $100,000 to make a project a reality or to pursue their mission. The remaining eight finalists will each receive a donation of $10,000.
The public is invited to vote at donations-contest.ia.ca until December 1 for the projects that they find the most inspiring, in four different regions (Quebec, Ontario, Western Canada, Northern Canada and Atlantic Canada).
The approximately 9,000 iA Financial Group employees will also be invited to vote on their favourite charities which will each receive an additional donation of $20,000, for a total of $500,000 in donations across the country. The winners will be revealed the week of December 11.
OUR SOCIAL COMMITMENT
Social commitment is part of the DNA of iA Financial Group and its employees. It is one of the company’s fundamental values, aligned with its commitment towards sustainable development and concrete support for communities. In 2022, the Group made 8.5 million dollars in donations to over 600 charities working in the health, social services, education or environmental fields. This large-scale philanthropic contest is part of iA Financial Group's contribution to development in the communities it serves.
“Once again this year, participation from these charities has been outstanding! I’d like to thank them all for their contributions to the wellbeing of their communities and for improving quality of life for the people who benefit from their services. They are a powerful driver for reducing social inequalities. They make a difference in the everyday lives of hundreds of thousands of Canadians. On behalf of iA Financial Group, I’d like to wish all the finalists the best of luck,” said Denis Ricard, President and Chief Executive Officer of iA Financial Group.
THE TOP 12 FINALISTS AND THEIR PROJECTS
1. Stigma-Free Society (SFS), Victoria, British Columbia
Founded in 2010, Stigma-Free Society (SFS) is a charity that promotes mental health and breaks down related stigmas through educational tools, fostering understanding and fighting against prejudices that can stand in the way of self-esteem, asking for help and the acceptance of others. This donation would be used to adapt their Stigma-Free Schools program to a virtual format and make it accessible on a national scale, leaving a lasting imprint on student wellbeing throughout the country.
2. PLEA Community Services Society of British Columbia (PLEA), Vancouver, British Columbia
LEA’s Our Children of the Street program works to educate young people about how to keep themselves and their peers safe from all forms of sexual exploitation while also supporting children and families already affected by this crime. This donation would support the delivery of their free exploitation prevention workshops which will reach over 30,000 youth and adults every year, including many high-risk groups.
3. United for Literacy, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
United for Literacy is a national charity supporting the right to literacy. In collaboration with volunteers and community partners, the organization provides free academic supports to learners of all ages in the city of Saskatoon. This donation of $100,000 would sustain literacy programs that provide essential tools for developing reading, writing, and math skills, to make sure everyone has an equal chance to develop their literacy and unleash their full potential.
4. I Challenge Diabetes, North York, Ontario
I Challenge Diabetes was founded by Chris Jarvis, a Canadian Olympic rower with type 1 diabetes, to support people living with diabetes with the resources necessary to lead healthy, inspired lives. This donation would go to support the Diabuddies School Tour project, a campaign that aims to raise awareness about diabetes, reaching almost 3,000 students in schools across Canada. This tour will increase understanding of diabetes and healthy lifestyles, promote accepting and inclusive school communities and improve confidence of students with diabetes.
5. Junior Achievement of Central Ontario (JA Central Ontario), Toronto, Canada
JA Central Ontario's mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy to make sure all young people are economically empowered with the skills, confidence and networks they need. This donation would support the delivery of JA's four financial literacy programs to 2,000 young people in grades 3-12 across central Ontario. Students will learn important money management skills in spending, budgeting, saving and using credit, all of which will lower their risk of irresponsible financial behaviour.
6. Trails Youth Initiatives, Stouffville, Ontario
Trails Youth Initiatives was created to help youth, especially those facing barriers based on race, income, education and neighbourhood. Trails uses outdoor experiential learning to cultivate social and emotional skills, improve physical and mental wellness and support success. This donation would support the 4 Seasons-4 Years-4 Life outdoor education program for vulnerable youth from Toronto's at-risk communities. The program focuses on non-violent communication, conflict resolution, leadership, critical thinking, goal setting, stress management and reflection.
7. Hope for Dementia, Saint-Laurent, Quebec
Hope for Dementia is a charitable organization whose mission is to support the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of dementia and other cognitive disorders. This donation would go towards Hope for Dementia's Intergenerational Learning Program, which aims to reduce the risks of dementia in seniors and raise awareness among youth about dementia. Youth volunteers will teach seniors how to use applications on tablets and iPads that promote cognitive stimulation and learn about the ways to reduce the risks of dementia.
8. Je Passe Partout : Services de soutien scolaire et intervention familiale, Montreal, Quebec
Je Passe Partout (JPP)’s mission is to foster success and encourage young people in difficult situations to succeed and prevent them from dropping out by working together with parents, schools, social services and the school environment. This donation would allow them to help over one hundred young newcomers to Quebec and their families to integrate into the Quebec school system, learn French and take advantage of the resources available within their community.
9. Le Centre pour l'intelligence en ligne (Le C.I.E.L.), Quebec City, Quebec
Le CIEL’s mission is to start a conversation about the risks that digital technology poses to our wellbeing, specifically with a prevention program about the risks of screen time for young people in elementary and secondary school. This donation would support the development of a program for preventing the harmful effects of screen time for children and adolescents all across Quebec. The program will be based on a scientific and rigorous approach, with the aim of stimulating young people's critical thinking while encouraging them to adopt a more thoughtful approach to using social media and video games.
10. Every Student, Every Day (ESED), Whitehorse, Yukon
ESED is a funding program working to support increased student attendance throughout the Yukon. Funding is made available each year to all Yukon schools, First Nations governments and organizations, and community organizations to promote innovative local solutions that support attendance and success. With this donation, ESED will support funding for a Science, Technology, Trades, Engineering, Arts and Music program, schools in Whitehorse, mental health programs and initiatives to support girls.
11. Camp Canak, Kedgwick, New Brunswick
The primary mission of Camp Canak is to provide children, adolescents and adults with physical or intellectual disabilities an unforgettable stay through diversified, enriching, safe and appropriate activities, while offering their families a peaceful break. A donation to the ASD Respite program would allow them to implement a program focused on learning and development of new skills and activities for a more personalized and specialized approach for people living with autism spectrum disorder aged 16 to 45.
12. Parker Street Mission, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Parker Street Mission is a dedicated community organization committed to its mission of providing essential support to those in need, including food, furniture and emergency assistance to foster independence. This donation would go towards their Parker Street Food Program which aims to alleviate food insecurity within their community by offering meals as well as education about proper nutrition, cooking techniques and sustainable food practices. The target population comprises more than 11,000 residents representing diverse social and economic backgrounds.