$500,000 to Build Stronger Communities?!?

AVIVA Community Fund LogoThat’s the pledge made by AVIVA Canada, an insurance provider who has decided to show that they have heart by putting out a cross-Canada call for projects that will improve local communities.  The top 25 projects will have the opportunity to share in a cool half-million dollars.

The competition began on October 13th with the first round of submissions.  A total of three submission rounds were held and the top 20 entries, based on a tally of votes submitted by anyone caring enough to join the website moved on to the semi-finals.  These top 60 entries moved into the semi-finals, where the top 25 submissions would be passed on to the judging round.  At the time this was written less than 23 hours remained.

What does this have to do What Sorts?  There are some great submissions that it would be great to give a last minute boost of support to.  Here are three:

  1. Medically Fragile Child Supported by Hope's HomeHelping Medically Fragile Children & Families Enjoy Better Lives. Hope’s Home seeks to improve the quality of life for medically fragile children in the community as it provides the very first medical daycare of its kind in Canada. Our mission is to help medically fragile children and their families enjoy better lives.
    But what does this mean? “Medically fragile children are children who have a chronic or progressive medical condition that may become unstable resulting in a life threatening situation. Medically fragile children require care, support and monitoring by nursing professionals.”
    For Hope’s Home that means employing Nurses, Developmental Workers, and Early Childhood Educators who work together to provide integrated programming for children with diverse needs. Medically fragile and typical children alike can play, experience fun activities, participate in programs, and socialize with other youngsters while being nurtured and included in a medically-safe environment, all at no additional cost to families.
  2. speakyourself.ca collage of faces on a multi-coloured checker backgroundSpeakyourself.ca. Speakyourself.ca will be the first ever cross Canada website written by and for youth with special needs. It will publish stories with interactive potential that speak about their lives in their way. Many youth with special needs and learning disabilities have trouble reading, so the stories and segments on the site will rely on video, audio and images as well as text.
    With Aviva’s support, this will be the first site of its kind, giving voice to a segment of society that has so much to say. The site will explore issues that are important to learning disabled youth, like the stereotyping they face every day, self-help articles, and inspirational stories about their peers. The site will be designed and moderated by youth with special needs. Content will come from all across Canada and will bring these individuals, who so often feel alone, together. And together, they will begin to change the way Canada and the world see them.
  3. Accessible elevator graphicAccessible Transportation. The TTC website says that 30 out of 69 of the system’s subway stations are fully accessible to people in wheelchairs. This is admirable, but it is not enough! The statistic means that people in wheelchairs are unable to access more than half of the subways in Toronto. Wheel-Trans is a great system in theory, but it only takes the passenger to and from subway stations. As well,there are often hold-ups causing it not arrive when it is needed. Every person should have the same transportation opportunity, regardless of his or her level of mobility. Public transportation is a service that everyone deserves. Adding elevators to every TTC subway station would improve the quality of life for many people living in Toronto.

There are many more.  Go see for yourself at http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/.

VOTE.

This may be one of the few times when your vote really can make a difference!

(And start planning your submission for the next competition–hopefully there will be a next time!)

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