Tuesday, April 21, 2009

That's it for Wild Rose Foundation...

Alberta charities worried after Wild Rose Foundation folded: "Alberta charities worried after Wild Rose Foundation folded"

Non-profit groups in Alberta are concerned about their future now that the province has disbanded the Wild Rose Foundation.

The Wild Rose Foundation was set up 25 years ago to grant money for projects in Alberta and abroad. But the province's Community Spirit Department lost $9 million in funding under the latest deficit budget, and the decision was made to drop the foundation....

So it is time to shelve our Wild Rose application.

We provide rural handibus-type transportation near Calgary. My organization was hoping for WRF support this year to defray program expenses. Now we are supposed look to the CIP or Community Spirit programs for support.

The CIP program is project-oriented. No support for ongoing programs but you could try to create a "NEW" project. Unfortunately CIP has become very political. If the MLA is interested, you could get assistance. If the MLA wants to see their CIP funds dredge a lake for recreation, don't bother with a proposal helping 150 rural Albertans with disabilities.

The Community Spirit program matches personal donations. We recently had our best year of fundraising -- $96,600. A local company gave $80,000 for a handibus. A service club gave $15,000 towards another bus. Personal donations were high for our organization but only totaled $1,600 ($10 & $50 amounts). Under Community Spirit, the company cheque and the service club cheque are not eligible for any matching donations. We will get a $1,600 matching grant.

WRF considered all these donations as basis for up to $50,000 funding over 2 years (no guarantees as we still must present an adequate case for funding). It is gone.

Alberta gives $30 million to breed racehorses. They cut support for accessible transportation in 1994 (not reviewed since). Why do racehorse owners get more support from Cabinet than Albertans needing a ride their dialysis appointments? Do they know someone? Could they introduce us?

Got to run! Another Alberta agency just asked us to subsidize transportation for some of their clients. Apparently, it is critical these Albertans get to this program.

It seems that Alberta can remove support from nonprofits then ask nonprofits for even more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Small Projects Enabling Accessibility

Small Projects Enabling Accessibility:

Enabling Accessibility Fund
Funding through Small Projects Enabling Accessibility supports activities such as renovating buildings in Canada to improve physical accessibility, enhancing existing transportation by modifying an existing vehicle to improve physical accessibility, and modifying or enhancing media or hardware to increase accessibility to information and communication. All projects must be accessible to the public.

Small Projects Enabling Accessibility
Provides grants of up to $50,000 for projects to renovate buildings, modify vehicles, and/or make information and communication more accessible.

Deadline: May 4, 2009

Small Projects Enabling Accessibility:

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A ‘handi’ service for those in need - Strathmore Standard - Alberta, CA

A ‘handi’ service for those in need - Strathmore Standard - Alberta, CA

A ‘handi’ service for those in need
Posted By Kirsten Mundy, Reporter
April 1, 2009

After 22 years of operations, the Strathmore Handi-Bus is still providing a service that is paramount to the mobility of many Strathmore and Wheatland County residents.

“There is a real need for it,” said Donna Specht, a long time driver with the Handi-Bus. “If it wasn’t for our Handi-Bus (the customers) wouldn’t be getting out.”

Specht has been driving a Handi-Bus for 11 years and said she has noticed an increase in the need for the service, but feels that too many residents are unaware that the service is available to them.

“We just need to make people aware,” said Specht. “It’s a Handi-Bus for these people. We’re here to serve the people.”

Specht said she runs into people on a very regular basis who just don’t know Strathmore and Wheatland County had this service. For many who presently use the Handi-Buses it is the only option they have for transportation.

The primary users of the service, said Specht, aren’t one particular group of people. She said there are some who aren’t comfortable driving into Calgary that use Handi-Bus. There are many seniors in the area who use the service, as well as others who are unable to drive themselves.

“We help people who need help to get to and from,” said Specht.

In order to make the service affordable and accessible, the cost is $5 for trips to churches, doctors appointments or the hospital. For trips into Calgary the charge is $40.

Specht said that the charge they collect doesn’t nearly cover their cost, and thanks to donations from various community organizations and individuals the number of busses and vans available to be in service has grown to include numerous busses and a van.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In order to book a trip people need to call 403-934-3418 at least 24 hours in advance, but the sooner the better.