Ottawa Community Foundation https://www.ocf-fco.ca Your centre for community philanthropy Tue, 09 Jul 2019 14:06:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/OCF_EN-icon-66x66.png Ottawa Community Foundation https://www.ocf-fco.ca 32 32 Babies Who Volunteer Partners with the Ottawa Community Foundation and the CHEO Foundation in support of Baby Days! https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/babies-who-volunteer-partners-with-the-ottawa-community-foundation-and-the-cheo-foundation-in-support-of-baby-days/ Tue, 09 Jul 2019 14:03:18 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=10504 (The following story was written by Babies Who Volunteer. We are pleased to share it with you.) Today, many of the seniors in our community are isolated, lonely and in need of companionship and joy. Many new parents also experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. Babies Who Volunteer (BWV) is working to change this by [...]

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(The following story was written by Babies Who Volunteer. We are pleased to share it with you.)

Today, many of the seniors in our community are isolated, lonely and in need of companionship and joy. Many new parents also experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. Babies Who Volunteer (BWV) is working to change this by connecting our youngest generation with our oldest generation through the volunteer efforts of today’s young parents and their babies.

BWV is rooted in the simple knowledge that babies bring love and happiness to others, especially those that may be lonely or missing their own children and grandchildren. It is also rooted in the fact that social interaction is beneficial to babies in assisting their healthy growth and development. The intergenerational bond between seniors, adults and babies is natural, powerful, joyful and beneficial for all. See it for yourself in this short video.

Baby Days is a program in which parents or caregivers bring their babies and young children to visit seniors in long-term care homes, retirement communities, senior day programs and respite facilities. The seniors hold and cuddle the babies, sing songs to them, play games with them, read to them, and simply enjoy their presence. These nurturing interactions bring love and joy to both seniors and babies and have lasting and positive impacts on the quality of life and general health of all those who participate.

The important work of BWV is delivered by some tiny, but mighty, volunteers (babies), along with their parents or caregivers. In ten short months, this group has grown from a handful of volunteers to over 1,300 volunteers, with new members joining daily. Our volunteers are at the heart of what we do and key to the achievement of our mission. Volunteers come from all areas of the community, represent various professions, backgrounds and cultures and are united by a common dedication to the well-being of seniors and babies.

The CHEO Foundation and Ottawa Community Foundation’s contribution directly supports BWV’s mission to enrich the lives of seniors in our community and to extend the reach of our programs to ensure more seniors, children and families can benefit from Baby Days.

“BWV is extremely grateful the CHEO Foundation and the Ottawa Community Foundation recognize the need for this intergenerational programming and are here to fully support this wonderful initiative. What a great way to give back to the seniors of our communities,” says Jessica Turner, President and CEO of Babies Who Volunteer Inc.

CHEO first opened its doors in 1974 following an advocacy and fundraising campaign by a passionate group of grandparents who recognized the urgent need for a children’s hospital in this region. In the 45 years since, CHEO has continued to thrive in large part due to the incredible community support of subsequent generations of parents and grandparents. CHEO is all about one generation taking care of the next and their support for the Baby Days program is a simple and meaningful way to give back to those who have given so much to them throughout the years.

“There is no better way for the CHEO Foundation to thank and honour our seniors than by giving them the gift of love and companionship from these beautiful babies and their loving parents,” says Kevin Keohane, President and CEO of the CHEO Foundation.

The Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization that has been connecting donors to causes since 1987. The Foundation works with the community to fulfill impact philanthropy and bring about positive, systemic and sustainable change in our city, regionally, nationally and beyond. Through their support of BWV they are helping to foster a strong, positive and caring community.

“What we really like about this program is that BWV’s solution to isolation wasn’t to look to an institution to provide services. They creatively connected seniors and moms and babies together where it’s needed. In the community,” says Rebecca Aird, Director, Community Engagement with the Ottawa Community Foundation

The CHEO Foundation and the Ottawa Community Foundation have a shared vision to help vulnerable populations live their best life. “Together they are helping us to build a healthy community and the best life for children and seniors through inter-generational programming,” says Jessica Turner, President and CEO of Babies Who Volunteer.

BWV can’t thank both organizations enough for the love and support they have shown us.

For more information, or to volunteer, please visit www.babieswhovolunteer.com.

If you would like to learn more on how the Ottawa Community Foundation is helping build a stronger community, sign up to receive our updates.

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Moments Matter in the Life of a Child https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/moments-matter-in-the-life-of-a-child/ Fri, 10 May 2019 18:46:07 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=10253 Imagine if you are a child who can’t recognize or express emotions like an adult.  Throwing a tantrum, refusing to eat, or not being able to sleep might be how you express anxiety or stress. Parents, caregivers, and professionals who understand and can spot certain behaviours within the first six years, are more likely [...]

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Imagine if you are a child who can’t recognize or express emotions like an adult.  Throwing a tantrum, refusing to eat, or not being able to sleep might be how you express anxiety or stress. Parents, caregivers, and professionals who understand and can spot certain behaviours within the first six years, are more likely able to prevent the escalation of anxiety or stress and promote a child’s mental health.

Over the past decade, our conversations about mental health issues have been generally more open thanks to awareness campaigns and news stories; however, during this time, 25% of Ottawa children have been consistently entering school with developmental vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario has noted a 75% increase in the number of mental health emergency visits. These are two indications that, despite gains we’ve made in our day-to-day conversations, children are vulnerable to the impacts of mental health issues.

In 2018, donors at the Ottawa Community Foundation provided financial support to the Parent Resource Centre for their Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative.

The Initiative brings together close to 30 service providers with a common interest in building a system of care.  A variety of materials are available including specific guides designed to support parents, caregivers, and professionals to help them model positive mental health behaviors and practices.

The guides cover topics such as attachment, resilience, sense of agency, self regulation, brain development, temperament, and perinatal and parental mental health.  With this type of information, adults can ensure a healthy environment for infants within their home, families, and surroundings.

A series of posters offer concrete examples of positive behaviors and how they can make a difference in a child’s life.

“We know that parenting matters and it’s hard to raise a child,” said Joanne Boyd, who runs a local parent coaching consulting business. “Parents have questions about how to adjust their approach to match a child’s temperament.” The guides highlight examples of how to support a child in the moment.

Funds from the Ottawa Community Foundation are helping to translate and adapt the guides for parents, caregivers and professionals who speak French, Arabic, and Mandarin.

While community efforts to address mental health have focused on youth and adults, experts recognize the need to teach future and current caregivers and professionals about the challenges that young children face.

Visit the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Initiative for more information.

If you would like to learn more on how the Ottawa Community Foundation is helping build a stronger community, sign up to receive our updates.

1. Millar, C., Lafrenière, A., Lebreton, J., de Quimper, C. (2016). Our Kids, Their Story…Snapshot of Developmental Health at School Entry in Ottawa 2005-2015. Data Analysis Coordinators, Parent Resource Centre, Ottawa, ON. 49pp + 4pp

2. The Young Minds Partnership: CHEO & Royal Ottawa Hospital (2015), Strategic Plan 2015-2020. Retrieved May 9, 2019 from https://www.cheo.on.ca/en/MH-strategic-plan

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Leaving a Legacy is a Powerful Thing https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/bill-june-joe/ Fri, 03 May 2019 15:35:45 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=10136 Bill and June Joe are creating a legacy that will continue to support the community, with the help of their children. Bill and June Joe share a strong sense of community. As a successful restauranteur, businessman, and advocate for the Chinese-Canadian community in Ottawa for more than five decades, Bill Joe has been [...]

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Bill and June Joe are creating a legacy that will continue to support the community, with the help of their children.

Bill and June Joe share a strong sense of community. As a successful restauranteur, businessman, and advocate for the Chinese-Canadian community in Ottawa for more than five decades, Bill Joe has been at the forefront of several major projects. He was part of a small group that in 1975 founded the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (OCCSC). He led the fundraising efforts to build a residence for Chinese seniors at the corner of Florence and Kent and personally contributed to the Glebe Centre so they could designate a floor for Chinese seniors. Bill is also a 62-year member and previous president of the Kiwanis Club of Rideau and a former director of Carleton University.

Equally community-minded, his wife June has long had a passion for the arts in Ottawa lending support to the National Arts Centre and the Music and Beyond Festival, among others. Their daughters played in the Kiwanis Music Festival where June was a volunteer for more than 20 years.

Growing up in Ottawa

Born and raised in Ottawa, William “Bill” Joe hailed from one of a handful of Chinese families that emigrated to the area in the early twentieth century. He’s quick to describe the small­-town feeling that Ottawa had during those first years.

“We all knew each other,” he recalls. “It was a smaller community back then. I think that’s something you miss as the city grows.”

As a youth, Bill fell in love with hockey and joined a team—the Chinese Aces—made up of Chinese-Canadians that competed against other local teams in the region.

Bill led the fundraising efforts to build a residence for Chinese seniors at the corner of Florence and Kent.

“We would fill the rink on a Saturday night,” Bill begins. “We were a novelty. We weren’t very good, but we were fast. The money from the games would go to the War Relief in China fund.”

Living in such a tight-knit community led to his strong instinct to help others. His parents were also a source of inspiration. They ran one of the first local laundry and dry-cleaning businesses that doubled as an unofficial refuge for the less fortunate—Bill’s mother always had room at the dinner table for those that needed a good meal. In 1950, after taking over as manager of the storied Cathay Restaurant on Albert Street, he noticed that many of his employees were men who had difficulty bringing their families over from China. Bill realized he could help.

“I had the ability to speak both languages and I got to know some of the government officials that came into the restaurant,” he remembers. “I reached out to them and we were able to help quite a few employees.”  By helping newcomers navigate the system, Bill was supporting their successful transition to a life in Ottawa.

He reminisces about driving to the airport greet family members as they reunited. He counts that among his most gratifying moments. That urge to help newcomers eventually led Bill to work with then Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar on Project 4000, the city’s ambitious initiative to welcome refugees who had fled war-ravaged Vietnam in the mid-seventies. Many that came were ethnic Chinese who were in South Vietnam when the Communist North took power. On one occasion, Bill packed two families into his car and was driving them to his restaurant’s banquet hall when he overheard them speaking Cantonese; the families were taken aback when he joined them in conversation.

“Language is the biggest barrier for newcomers,” Bill adds. “Whether it’s Chinese, Vietnamese, or more recently, refugees from Syria. Going to a new country without speaking the language can make you feel isolated.”

Building Newcomer Support

For Bill, the OCCSC is another source of pride. Opening its doors in 1975, it consisted of one staff member at a desk in a small office on Gilmour Street. The brainchild of Bill and some of his friends, the Centre was created to provide the same kind of help he provided his employees. Today, it’s grown exponentially and provides a whole array of services for the community.

Later, when the Chinatown archway was unveiled in 2010, Bill was regarded as a driving force in making it a reality. The ornate structure has become one of the city’s most popular attractions. However, he’s quick to mention that members of the local Business Improvement Area and organizing committee deserve the credit.

“I got together with [local architect] Frank Ling to discuss how we could help,” he recalls. “We both put a few dollars up and people came out of the woodwork to match it.” He added, “The committee did the work and didn’t get enough credit for it!”

Planning for the Future

Recently, the Joes turned their attention to what might happen to their support after their lifetime. Would it be too much to leave their children to manage? How can they be involved without being burdened? These are typical questions the Ottawa Community Foundation receives from families like the Joes who have until now, managed their charitable assets, but want to leave them in good hands.

Bill Joe recently visited the Ottawa Community Foundation to share his story of growing up in Ottawa and helping refugees settled into the city. Now, Bill is looking to put in place a Fund that will carry on his work for years to come.

The couple established the Bill and June Joe Fund in the fall of 2018, but their initial introduction to the OCF happened many years earlier.

“I watched the Ottawa Community Foundation grow from the start,” Bill recalls. “I was asked to join the board when it began 30 years ago, but I had too many commitments at that moment unfortunately.” When the time came for them to think about a long-term vehicle for their charitable giving, the Ottawa Community Foundation was an easy choice.

“I cannot believe the growth from day one,” he remarks. “A number of my friends have set up funds as well, so I had always thought that when we were ready, the [Ottawa Community Foundation] would be the one to work with.”

As he discusses his plans, Joe remarks how impressed he is with the Foundation’s investment management. “I want to continue to build something so that down the road the organizations I support will also be able to benefit.”

Celebrating his 90th birthday this year, Bill is hopeful for the future of those he helped welcome, and the community he helped build in Ottawa. Bill notes that the Chinese-Canadian community has grown significantly, from 250 to now more than 40,000.

Bill and June have settled into a more relaxed pace now, but continue to stay involved in the community, whether it’s attending AGMs or lending support to various causes. The Ottawa Community Foundation is proud to count them among its family of donors who contribute to making our city the best it can be.

If you are interested in establishing a fund with us, please visit our website at ocf-fco.ca.

Setting up a Fund helps carry on your legacy

For more than 30 years, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) has been working with donors to help them meet their charitable goals. One way we do this is by making it easy to set up a fund like the Bill and June Joe Foundation. Known for their tireless efforts to help others, Bill and June established the endowment fund to support causes important to them and to allow their children to carry on that legacy.

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Indigenous Education Program Immerses Ottawa Students in Cultural Teachings https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/indigenous-education-program-immerses-ottawa-students-in-cultural-teachings/ Mon, 29 Apr 2019 16:44:37 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=10043 Residential schools showed us what happens when culture and identity are forcibly removed from a generation of children. The Wabano Centre, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), and local schools are showing us what happens when we put it back ― when students are actively involved in hands-on and interactive learning from members of the Indigenous [...]

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Residential schools showed us what happens when culture and identity are forcibly removed from a generation of children. The Wabano Centre, the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), and local schools are showing us what happens when we put it back ― when students are actively involved in hands-on and interactive learning from members of the Indigenous community.

The Indigenous Education Program, offered to Ottawa elementary and high school students, is a response to one of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – that Indigenous-led and delivered curriculum help build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.

The Program was first introduced to 535 local students in 2017 as part of a seven-month pilot. The initiative generated very positive feedback from both students and teachers who see it filling a gap in the current Indigenous curriculum.

Surrounded by colourful artwork and wall hangings, Indigenous elders or leaders deliver culturally-sensitive and accurate educational information to students who travel to the Wabano Centre. Students participate in hands-on and interactive activities such as traditional hoop dances, the creation of medicine pouches, tours of the residential school exhibit, drum teachings, talking circles, drumming and singing, and feather art.

Funding for the curriculum comes from one of the OCF’s donors. This support was key in seeding the idea, then helping to create, launch and deliver the program to classrooms across the city. Funds cover transportation costs to get the students to the Wabano Centre, as well as materials, supplies and compensation for Indigenous facilitators.

The Wabano Centre and the OCF hope the program becomes a mandated curriculum by school boards in Ottawa and potentially elsewhere in Ontario.

On Wednesday, April 17th, more than 50 students and accompanying teachers from St. Pius and Lester B Pearson high school participated in a number of related activities at the Wabano Centre.

CBC’s Robyn Miller travelled to Wabano Centre to see exactly what the local high school students are learning and got their reaction.

For more information about Truth and Reconciliation, please visit the TRC website: http://www.trc.ca/

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The Ottawa Community Foundation supports green electricity and green natural gas with Bullfrog Power® https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/the-ottawa-community-foundation-supports-green-electricity-and-green-natural-gas-with-bullfrog-power/ Thu, 11 Apr 2019 16:03:04 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=9660 At the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), we recognize the importance of addressing our environmental impact and therefore, we are taking an important step to reduce the carbon emissions footprint of our organization. We are now a Bullfrog Power client, which means that we are purchasing the energy needed to light, heat and cool our office [...]

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At the Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF), we recognize the importance of addressing our environmental impact and therefore, we are taking an important step to reduce the carbon emissions footprint of our organization. We are now a Bullfrog Power client, which means that we are purchasing the energy needed to light, heat and cool our office space in a way that brings more low-carbon, renewable energy into Ontario’s electricity and natural gas distribution systems.

“Bullfrog Power is a great example of the creative approaches that are increasingly available to make purchasing decisions that support the transition to a low-carbon, renewable energy economy,” says Marco Pagani, President and CEO with the OCF. “This decision is also in line with steps we have taken towards socially and environmentally responsible investment.”

Bullfrog Power’s producers put renewable electricity and green natural gas onto the grid and pipeline to match the amount of conventional electricity and natural gas used by the Ottawa Community Foundation.

Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities. Bullfrog Power’s green natural gas is sourced from methane-capture projects situated at various Canadian landfills, waste water treatment facilities and anaerobic digestion sites.  Through innovative technology, biogas is captured, cleaned up, and injected onto the national natural gas pipeline.

Our green energy purchase is also helping to support to new, community-based renewable energy projects in our region and across Canada. That’s because Bullfrog Power uses its customers’ support to provide funding to these projects. Learn more about how the Bullfrog Power community is advancing these projects.

We are proud to be choosing green energy with Bullfrog Power! To learn more about Bullfrog Power, visit their website at bullfrogpower.com

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The Ottawa Community Foundation Welcomes Federal Government Investment in Low Carbon Cities Canada https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/lc3/ Wed, 20 Mar 2019 13:16:05 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=9613 Photo credit: City Clock Magazine Federal Budget 2019 to Fund New Way to Help Fight Climate Change in Ottawa OTTAWA - March 20, 2019 – Yesterday’s federal budget is helping Ottawa fight climate change by making a visionary $183 million investment in Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3). LC3 is a partnership between [...]

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Photo credit: City Clock Magazine

Federal Budget 2019 to Fund New Way to Help Fight Climate Change in Ottawa

OTTAWAMarch 20, 2019 – Yesterday’s federal budget is helping Ottawa fight climate change by making a visionary $183 million investment in Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3).

LC3 is a partnership between seven local centres and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. This partnership will help Canada meet 2030 and 2050 carbon reduction targets. Significant and effective climate action is acutely needed in cities, where half of Canada’s carbon emissions originate from sources such as buildings, transportation, industry and waste. LC3 funding is part of a $350 million investment in the FCM’s Green Municipal Fund.

The Ottawa Community Foundation, in collaboration with the City and other key players, has led Ottawa’s participation in the LC3 network, and will now apply its experience in asset management, governance, granting, and impact investing to ensure the success of the Ottawa centre.

“The urgency for action on climate change has never been greater, and Ottawa will play a critical role,” said Rebecca Aird, the Ottawa Community Foundation’s lead on the initiative. “We’re grateful for this important strategic investment by our federal government that will unleash local action to significantly lower carbon emissions, while also contributing to socio-economic vitality. This financial support will be a legacy for decades to come.”

Ottawa strives to be a climate leader, yet good ideas and one-off pilots often fail to reach mainstream, at-scale implementation for various reasons including risk aversion, challenges accessing capital and markets, and policy barriers.

Modeled on the extensive experience and successes of The Atmospheric Fund, LC3 Centres allow the risk tolerance necessary to remove barriers to new technologies, policies and financial tools to reduce carbon emissions. The federal budget investment will help Ottawa bridge the commercialization gap by enabling implementation, proof and broader adoption of locally relevant solutions.

LC3 will be self-sustaining, safeguarding and leveraging the federal investment announced today. Rather than spending it down, LC3 will invest the capital on a revolving basis, generating ongoing revenue for grants, projects and operations.

“The City of Ottawa is pleased to have worked with the Ottawa Community Foundation and other key players to build the case and the foundations for a centre for low carbon innovation in Ottawa as part of the LC3 network. This funding announcement provides an opportunity to help reduce carbon emissions in the nation’s capital,” said Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa.

To learn more, visit the LC3 website.

Media contact:

Danielle Côté
Director, Public Engagement
Ottawa Community Foundation
Work: 613- 236-1616 ext. 232
Cell: 613-799-9057
dcote@ocf-fco.ca

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Want to Know Your City? Get to Know Ottawa Insights! https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/oi-testimonial/ Mon, 11 Mar 2019 17:09:26 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=9539 Katie Miller of Impact Hub Ottawa shares her experience using Ottawa Insights for social impact. We live in a world where it’s important to be able to access, analyze and apply data to make the most of our influence in the social impact sector. That's why the Ottawa Community Foundation recently updated Ottawa Insights, a [...]

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Katie Miller of Impact Hub Ottawa shares her experience using Ottawa Insights for social impact.

We live in a world where it’s important to be able to access, analyze and apply data to make the most of our influence in the social impact sector. That’s why the Ottawa Community Foundation recently updated Ottawa Insights, a robust and reliable online source for data that is available to anyone in our community. This is the second in our series of blog posts where members of the community share how they use Ottawa Insights to inform their work.

Katie Miller, Impact Hub Ottawa

Katie Miller is the Managing Director of Impact Hub Ottawa, a community of creative and entrepreneurial change makers shaping a better future for our city through social innovation and cross-sector collaboration. Katie has found Ottawa Insights to be a valuable tool, using it in Impact Hub Ottawa’s social entrepreneurship training and development workshops.

“When we work with early stage social enterprises or people with social initiatives, we try to connect them to Ottawa Insights, and show them how to use it, so their project insights are rooted in accurate, local data,” explains Miller.

“I think that a lot of the time when people get excited about starting a new social initiative they have been directly impacted by the issue, so they’re emotionally connected to it. We don’t always remember to zoom out and really look hard at that specific topic area and understand the relevant data within our city so we can have the most direct and efficient impact in that area. Ottawa Insights helps us to do just that.”

Ottawa Insights is designed to help visitors that come to the site, understand how different issues are interconnected and how they can’t necessarily be isolated from each other.

“The way the data is laid out (see the Mix and Match and Explore Topics sections of the website) helps users make those connections,” adds Miller. “They also help people see opportunities for collaboration, and how things are affiliated.”

Access to reliable data can help users understand the many facets of our city, as well as plan, make informed decisions, implement programs and services and measure how effective they are.

On the topic of evaluation, Miller explains that “sometimes measurement is not embedded in the operational processes of an organization. Ottawa Insights is a good way to get a sense of what’s already being measured on a regular basis. We try to teach the organizations we work with how their project is connected to those existing measurements. And then being able to define whether those numbers are improving over time, and whether your activities are affecting that metric.”

Being able to measure impact is important but can be complex, particularly if the work is relationship-based or can’t be measured for years to come.

“For example, one of our programs might not support the participant to start a business tomorrow and might only come to life years later. You can’t always trace a direct line. We have room to improve when it comes to evaluation. Ottawa Insights is definitely a useful step forward,” says Miller.

Find out more about Impact Hub Ottawa’s workshops and other services here.

 

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NEWS RELEASE – Ottawa Community Foundation Awards $125,000 to the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation and Global Vision to Tackle Youth Unemployment https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/news-release-nlcc-winner-2018/ Fri, 23 Nov 2018 20:37:24 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=9226 RBC Foundation announces additional financial support to finalists. Nov. 23, 2018 (Ottawa, ON) – The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) presented a cheque for $125,000 to the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation and Global Vision yesterday as part of its New Leaf Community Challenge. The winning organizations, which were introduced to each other by the [...]

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RBC Foundation announces additional financial support to finalists.

Nov. 23, 2018 (Ottawa, ON) – The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) presented a cheque for $125,000 to the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation and Global Vision yesterday as part of its New Leaf Community Challenge. The winning organizations, which were introduced to each other by the OCF, are partnering for the first time to tackle youth unemployment in the Ottawa region through their Youth+ initiative.

Youth+ was one of three short-listed proposals presented to an eight-member jury of community leaders at the fifth New Leaf Community Challenge (NLCC) held in Algonquin College’s Indigenous Learning Commons.

“All three projects were creative, compelling and, most importantly, designed to support positive, systemic, sustainable change in our community,” said Marco Pagani, President and CEO of the OCF. “Each project focused on setting youth on a career path, not simply towards an entry-level job.”

Youth+ builds on the strengths and successes of the Youth Futures and Global Vision Connects programs. It will support 180 youth from diverse, low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in Ottawa’s fastest growing industries such as IT, clean technology, and tourism. Youth+ will offer industry roundtables, local industry tours, internship opportunities, training in areas such as leadership and entrepreneurship, and opportunities for life-changing experiences at both national and international levels.

Glenn Sheen, Regional Director, Community Marketing and Citizenship, RBC Foundation

In an exciting reveal immediately preceding the cheque presentation, representatives from the RBC Foundation announced their commitment to ensure that funding will be available for the implementation of all three of the finalist proposals.

“Our collaboration with the OCF over the past two years has strengthened both organizations’ funding activities related to youth employment in Ottawa,” says Glenn Sheen, Regional Director, Community Marketing and Citizenship, RBC Foundation. “Today’s event is further proof of the benefits of the partnership. RBC, like OCF, believes that all three finalists are winners.”

RBC Foundation’s Future Launch initiative is a 10-year, $500 million commitment to end youth unemployment in Canada.

The benefits of the NLCC now extend well beyond a once-a-year major grant. Since introducing NLCC in 2014, the OCF has improved the process every year, creating better conditions for organizations to collaborate and to add systems-level thinking to the proposals.

“This partnership is a game-changer for disadvantaged youth living in our city,” says Ian MacKichan, Development and Marketing Associate, with the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation. “By aligning the strengths of Global Vision and Youth Futures, we are able to realize new employment and career development opportunities, as a part of a sustainable platform.”

The other two finalists in the 2018 New Leaf Community Challenge presented equally compelling proposals:

  • Relay Education’s Green Collar Careers (GCC) is designed to help connect youth to a range of “green career” opportunities.
  • Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre’s GeneratioNeXt Ward 13 is a bilingual employment and entrepreneurship incubation program offering services to youth aged 13 to 29 living in Ottawa’s east end.

About the New Leaf Community Challenge

Originally launched in 2014, the NLCC is designed to inspire and support innovative, collaborative approaches to addressing critical issues in Ottawa. Since then, the OCF has granted more than a million dollars to support two critical issues in our community: food security and youth employment.

About the Ottawa Community Foundation

Established in 1987, the Ottawa Community Foundation is a public, non-profit organization created by and for the people of Ottawa. Working directly with its community of donors, partners and stakeholders, the Foundation is committed to acting as a catalyst for positive, systemic and sustainable change in Ottawa and beyond. Priding itself on enabling generous citizens to enhance the quality of life in their community while achieving their own charitable objectives, the Foundation currently manages assets worth almost $150M, and has provided over $110M in grants to the community since its inception. visit www.ocf-fco.ca or https://www.ocf-fco.ca/nlcc-2018/

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For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Danielle Côté
613-799-9057
dcote@ocf-fco.ca

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Kitchen Connections https://www.ocf-fco.ca/blog/foodworks/ Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:35:05 +0000 https://www.ocf-fco.ca/?p=9137 OCF donor funds FoodWorks Program creating job opportunities for our youth Gnocchi with roast squash and garlic cream; ginger, lime and chili chicken with peanut sauce and cider and thyme glazed beets. These are just some of the mouth-watering recipes on the menu at FoodWorks, an employment program and thriving social enterprise created by Operation [...]

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OCF donor funds FoodWorks Program creating job opportunities for our youth

Gnocchi with roast squash and garlic cream; ginger, lime and chili chicken with peanut sauce and cider and thyme glazed beets. These are just some of the mouth-watering recipes on the menu at FoodWorks, an employment program and thriving social enterprise created by Operation Come Home.

FoodWorks provides at-risk youth the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. Over a three-to-six-month period, they train alongside professional chef Bruce Wood, preparing fresh, wholesome meals and delivering them to the homes of FoodWorks clients three days a week.

As is often the case, when our Grants Committee recommends that a particular application receive funding, we share the idea with donors whose interests might align with the project.  With a long history of supporting initiatives that empower youth to overcome adversity, a donor who relies on the Ottawa Community Foundation to help her meet her philanthropic objectives provided a grant of $45,000 over two years to staff the kitchen and buy equipment to run the program.

“We cherish our role in presenting opportunities like this to our donors,” says Bibi Patel, Vice-President. “They value the intelligence we provide and in turn, the community appreciates the success we have in tapping into our donors’ generosity and commitment to improving the quality of life for everyone in our city.”

“If it weren’t for the grants, we would have struggled a lot more to get the program up and running and we would not have been able to create as many jobs,” explains Lynda Franc, the Director of Development for Operation Come Home.

Ellen Watts, a former participant of the FoodWorks employment program, has used her new culinary and life skills to help her find meaningful employment.

As the program grows, they’ll be able to hire more youth and create more training opportunities for people like Ellen Watts, a FoodWorks employee. She firmly believes that the FoodWorks program has had a positive impact on Ellen’s life.  And based on her journey so far, it certainly has.

Since completing her contract with FoodWorks, Ellen secured a job in a grocery store and continues to thrive. She was recently invited to share her story as part of Operation Come Home’s Breakfast on the Rideau event, where at-risk youth share their success stories.

“Before I went into Operation Come Home, I had severe anxiety and it was always a struggle to get out of bed in the morning,” the 21-year-old recalls.  “It’s given me the confidence to try new things.  I didn’t think I would ever want to work in a kitchen, but I have really loved my time here.”

With the funds raised through the social enterprise, Operation Come Home invests in additional employment, education, and support programs and services for youth 16 and up.

Operation Come Home also offers young adults the support to finish high school or start a small business. By engaging vulnerable youth through their interests, they’re then able to halt the cycle of poverty.

Over the last three years, 35 youth have gone through the FoodWorks program, with approximately 75 per cent of the graduates going on to find and maintain employment for at least three months.


If you are interested in learning more about FoodWorks, visit https://www.foodworksottawa.ca/
The Ottawa Community Foundation continues to be a proud grantmaker to a broad array of causes in our community. Our flagship Community Grants Program has two deadlines per year for applications. Please check out the program’s section on our website for more information.

 

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