Today, as part of the $8.6 million invested in communities this season, MLSE Foundation announced the distribution of its Community Action Grants in the amount of $500,000, which will support 20 organizations and their operations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All 20 Ontario-based organizations will receive a financial grant assisting their use of sport and recreation to advance outcomes in physical health, mental health, academic achievement and work readiness to support youth in their communities.
“Although sports have taken a backseat in this time of social distancing, our primary goal to improve the lives of youth remains the same during the global pandemic,” said Tanya Mruck, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation. “We are pleased to provide support to a wide range of organizations that use sport and life skills as vehicles to increase positive outcomes for youth during this unprecedented time and their great work in their respective communities.”
In 2016, with the support MLSE’s teams, MLSE Foundation launched the Community Action Grants - a program to fund leaders in the community who use the power of sport to help youth reach their potential. In spite of the global pandemic, the organizations worked tirelessly during this year’s selection process to meet the needs of youth through innovative programming in the new reality. As a result, MLSE Foundation chose to restructure its $500,000 grant to fund all 20 shortlisted applicants for the first time. All funds have been disbursed to support immediate financial needs and to ensure continued community impact in light of the pandemic.
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, one of the 20 selected organizations, focuses on ensuring the safety and well-being of children and families within the Toronto Aboriginal Community. The organization will receive $50,000 from MLSE Foundation to ensure the organization continues to develop programs and services grounded in Aboriginal values, knowledge, best practices and worldview.
Start2Finish, another recipient of a $50,000 grant from MLSE Foundation, gives children attending schools within in-need communities quality school supplies and innovative fitness, literacy and mentorship programming to help them break the cycle of poverty and build a cycle of success. The grant will help students continue to make education and health a priority even in the absence of physical classrooms.
The 2020 MLSE Foundation Community Action Grant recipients:
Boys and Girls Club of Kingston and Area
Skills For Life Inc
Clean Air Partnership
Direct Your Life
StepStones for Youth
Health Out Loud
Stonegate Community Health Centre
LAMP Community Health Centre
Malton Neighbourhood Services
The Safehaven Project for Community Living
Midaynta Community Services
Native Child and Family Services of Toronto
Trails Youth Initiatives, Inc.
Oakville Family YMCA
TSEC - Brigantine Incorporated
UrbanArts Community Arts Council