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Impact Stories

Impact Stories

Helping communities help themselves

Georgina Geldert with her great-granddaughter LylaGeorgina Geldert has donated to many charities throughout her life. She heavily researches the causes she’s interested in before contributing and has been a big supporter of Doctors Without Borders, Habitat for Humanity, and many initiatives involving the arts.

One cause that’s particularly close to her heart is opportunities for children and youth. As one of four children in a single parent family in the early 1940s, Georgina was no stranger to struggle.

“I understand how important it is, especially for children, to have their basic needs met and to be accepted by their peers. Poverty is a huge roadblock for some children, especially in getting an education, and that is still very true today.”

When Georgina learned about the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, she found a new way to support the many causes she cares about. Before long she became a proud champion of community foundations and decided to designate a donation in her will to CFNS, knowing it will allow her to give back in many ways by helping communities help themselves.

What Georgina likes most about the community foundation model is that it allows funds to stay right in the place where they’re needed most and be controlled by the people who benefit directly from them.

“It’s good for self-esteem for people to be able to help themselves. It gives them a sense of ownership and they take pride in what they’re doing,” she says. “It puts ownership back in the community so they can make a decision that’s best for them.”

If you’re interested in leaving a gift like Georgina, talk to your financial advisor or contact us at 902-490-9916 or to find out how you can. You can also make a donation any time online via our CanadaHelps page.

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Clarence Community Hall

Clarence Community HallIn many small towns and communities in rural Nova Scotia the local hall is much more than just a building; it’s the heart of the community. It’s the hub of social activities and its walls have witnessed wedding receptions, birthday parties, town meetings and numerous other gatherings that bring families and friends together to share happy times and happy memories.

Like any other building, community halls require upkeep and repairs which can be costly. The Clarence Community Hall in Paradise, NS is one of those halls. It’s where local senior groups hold their weekly card parties, an outing that’s more about the tea and conversation than it is about a winning hand. It’s also where the local 4-H Club meets once a month. In a small community like Paradise there isn’t a lot for a young person to do after school and on weekends. The 4-H Club offers its members fun, educational projects and activities that keep them busy all year long.

Shirley Fralic has lived in the area for many years and knows how important the Clarence Community Hall is to local residents. That’s why she made a special effort to receive a cheque from the Bridgetown Area Community Fund (BACF) to help out with the cost of upkeep. What delighted Fralic the most was that with the financial support of the BACF, the young people in the 4-H club would continue to have a place to meet.

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Hope Blooms in the North End of Halifax, where they’re growing dreams and vegetables in greenhouses

Hope Blooms in the North End of Halifax, where they’re growing dreams and vegetables in greenhousesThree years ago an idea blossomed in registered dietician Jessie Jollymore’s mind – an idea that would promote healthy food choices and encourage community pride at the North End Community Health Centre. Her idea was the beginning of the community vegetable and herb garden, which has become a focal point for more than 50 youth and 14 families. The garden has inspired them to take control of their future and make a difference in their community. With increasing demand and expansion on their side, Jessie knew a greenhouse was the next logical step toward long-term sustainment of the garden.

The grant from the Local Food Fund at the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia was used for materials to build the greenhouse which will allow residents to lengthen their community garden’s growing season and save seeds for the next year. The greenhouse will also be used by 30 young people to sustain production of their herb salad dressings under the Hope Blooms label. Proceeds from the dressings go into a scholarship fund for the youth gardeners in this community.

The greenhouse will also provide an opportunity for educational workshops to teach locals about growing organically and starting seeds. Other contributors that helped fund the greenhouse were the Black Business Initiative, the Positive Aging Fund and proceeds from a yard sale held by two youth in the north end. The project was managed by engineers from the Department of Health and built by CFB Halifax as part of the United Way Days of Caring. St. Patrick’s Church donated space and water, while Ted Hutten Family Farm and the Halifax Farmers’ Market provided greenhouse design expertise.

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Getting a much-needed resource back on the road

Getting a much-needed resource back on the roadThe Community Foundation of Nova Scotia helped the people of Yarmouth living with disabilities get back on the road with some much-needed funding to repair their wheelchair accessible bus. With the list of repairs required for the bus to pass its safety inspection, including new tires and an airbag, the timing of the Foundation’s grant to the H.O.P.E. Society couldn’t be better.

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Innovative non-profit provides a home-sweet-home

Innovative non-profit provides a home-sweet-homeNot all young mothers have a safe place to call home. These women and their children often live in extreme isolation and suffer from poor nutrition and health problems – conditions which leave them with a deflated sense of self-worth that puts them and their children at risk of abuse and violence. Supportive Housing for Young Mothers (SHYM) is a non-profit organization which provides parenting and life-skills education and support along with safe independent living for single mothers (age 16 –21) and their children who are otherwise at risk of being homeless. SHYM opened its doors to tenants in October of 2007, bringing the dream of many dedicated individuals and organizations to fruition.

A grant from the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia helped to support young mothers at SHYM enjoy recreational opportunities and new experiences that promote healthy lifestyles and build self-esteem in a non-judgmental and supportive environment.

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Two women who grew up generations apart share a passion for helping others

Innovative non-profit provides a home-sweet-homeEthel (Grant) Eagles grew up in industrial Cape Breton over 70 years ago. As a young girl her dream was to become a nurse. Always a caring, kind and compassionate woman she wanted to work in the local hospital to help others and alleviate their pain and suffering.  Now, over half a century after graduating from nursing and long since retired from the profession, Eagles still feels the need to give to others. In November

Now, over half a century after graduating from nursing and long since retired from the profession, Eagles still feels the need to give to others. In November 2010, she created the Ethel F. (Grant) Eagles Scholarship Fund which was awarded its first scholarship to Ms. Chantel Kelly, also from Cape Breton, and who like Eagles has a passion for the nursing profession. The scholarship has not only  made it possible for Kelly to fulfill her career dreams but it has also instilled in her a desire to one day help other students in financial need like her.

“Being the first recipient of the Ethel F. (Grant) Eagles Scholarship is not only an incredible honour but it has made my dream of becoming a nurse financially possible.”     – Chantel Kelly

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Little Readers

“Little Reader Bags” will make it easier for parents to choose age-appropriate books for their children and encourage reading.

Innovative non-profit provides a home-sweet-homeCuddling up to read a book in a comfy chair or falling asleep after a bedtime story are cherished memories for most of us. A grant from the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia will make selecting that perfect book a little easier for busy caregivers through the “Little Reader Bags” program.

The idea originated at the Annapolis Valley Regional Library in Bridgetown. Library staff put together 40 colour-coded reusable bags containing various age-appropriate books that support early learning in children. The libraries and bookmobile from Windsor to Annapolis Royal distribute the bags. Each bag also contains information on how to build literacy skills and tips on reading to children. The libraries partnered with local family resource centres, preschools and schools to promote the “Little Reader Bags” to families.

It is hoped that by making it easy for parents and caregivers to stop at the library, borrow a bag of age-appropriate books, and take them home to share, families will increase their reading activities.

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