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Sponsored by: Nelvana
Pony Pals Therapeutic Riding Association is a program developed for children and adults aged 3 years and older who are faced with life challenges.
They were forced to suspend all services for two full months due to the pandemic. During that time they had to lay off all staff and focus all funds on buying hay and caring for the 23 horses on their therapeutic riding team for people with disabilities.
“We can turn off the furnace, reduce a lot of costs but the horses require a consistent diet, and both veterinary and hoof care on a set schedule without interruption, or the consequences can be dire.”
The grant will help cover the additional costs due to COVID to protect the public, staff and volunteer crew. They have implemented two new hand-washing stations with hot water and soap, paper towel dispensers, as well as a rented porta potty to keep everyone safe.
From head coach, Candice Miller:
“It’s a Christmas Miracle! We are overwhelmed and overjoyed with this amazing news!
Our gratitude to everyone at This Bag Helps for supporting grassroots organizations like ours in helping families of children with disabilities access meaning life changing therapies!”
A small family Lebanese restaurant located in Toronto, with a big heart to give back even as they are struggling.
Being in Toronto, as one of the most affected areas in Ontario, they got shut often since March 2020 reducing business by a steady average of 70% since.
Amidst it all, they started a Dare to Care initiative: #DareToCare – Help those who need it the most this time of year.
“With every $50, Paramount will donate a meal to someone in need. If you donate an extra $5, we’ll ensure a local family has a nutritious meal this holiday”
Just this week, they donated 250 meals to families in need via, Seeds of Hope in Toronto.
When asked about this wonderful initiative, they responded that if we can all help each other, hopefully we’ll come out of this a little better, and added, even tho they were struggling, there were many that had it worse and wanted to do something to help.
Adapting operating during COVID has been costly and added to their existing expenses and burdens. This grant will help cover some of these additional expenses and “keep going and stay alive as a business in this pandemic.” – Zaid Yousif
Sponsored by: Lightning Rock Winery
Nyoka Design Labs is a small social enterprise with the big vision of disrupting the wasteful plastic industry.
They create sustainable alternatives to single-use, toxic, wasteful products – and at the same time foster safer spaces for youth and less represented communities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to come together and innovate solutions.
Nyoka created with world’s first bio luminescent, Earth-friendly glow stick by using materials that actively capture carbon and mitigate climate change in alignment with the UN sustainable development goals.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their product launch was delayed and their primary target audience, and impact, practically disappeared: eliminating plastic waste from music festivals. They pivoted to global emergency lighting, humanitarian aid, and increased focus on STEM education.
Prior to the pandemic they would facilitate in-school STEM workshops, volunteer-run at no cost. However, due to COVID, they had to adapt and create an online model to still reach youth and continue their engagement.
“Education is one of our main priorities as a social enterprise, however, we are lacking the funds to fully launch the support required.”
The grant will go towards STEM education resources, including their Earth-friendly light wand science kits, that they will mail to high-school students participating in their online innovation and entrepreneurship workshops for youth in under served groups.
“We believe that the women in our neighbourhood deserve a safe and non-intimidating environment where they are able to improve their physical and mental health. We are a community of strong women who empower each other.
Whether their goal is to lose weight, feel stronger mentally, or emotionally, our Hit family (members and trainers) helps them every step of the way. We’ve always been proud of our involvement in the community; just last year, we teamed up with 6 other Hits and fundraised over $53,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society to fund breast cancer research.”
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19, businesses in the fitness industry are very at risk. For over three months, they had to close their doors. Even though they were not certain their doors would ever open again, their wonderful team volunteered and encouraged their community to stay engaged, positive, and active by hosting virtual workout sessions and free training alternatives.
Regrettably, while the government allowed fitness centers to reopen (following strict safety guidelines), many within their community had to stop subscriptions due to financial difficulties, as well as fear of the virus. Additionally, with an expense increase of 30% due to COVID-19 safety requirements, extra support is needed to keep providing a safe space to the women of their community.
The grant will help offset increases in operating costs: tripled cleaning supply costs, PPE for employees to work safely, and increases in payroll due to extra time spent at the gym enforcing the guidelines.
30 Minute Hit Vaudreuil-Dorion is a small business owned by a young couple, who are fighting so hard to keep their doors open and retain their employees.
Jenke’s Theory was born out of pain healing and recovery.
Founder Ayo Adeyeri turned to natural self-care and wellness routines to heal and recover from the devastating life halting experience of losing her daughter at birth. Now she supports others facing the same devastation using proceeds to supply wellness boxes to bereaved moms in Alberta.
This Canada-based black-owned brand focuses on using natural and essential oils butters and plant-based ingredients to formulate wellness and self-care products. All products are cruelty-free and made with organic certified ingredients.
When COVID struck this beautiful business almost died before it hardly had started.
Jenke’s Theory will use the grant to purchase equipment that will ease the production of their handcrafted non-toxic vegan and organic certified ingredients into wellness and personal care products. It will also support their work with bereaved moms in Alberta and wellness box of body butter bath soaks body scrub lip therapy wellness candle and room spray.
Jenke is a Nigerian (yoruba) meaning of ‘pamper’ or ‘indulge’. Join us in this journey of loving yourself naturally.
Sponsored by: Headwater Projects
Vancouver Food Runners’ mission is to respond to the unfortunate disconnect between the fact that 40% of all food produced is wasted or lost, while 1 in 9 households in BC are food insecure.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, Vancouver Food Runners has played an instrumental role in redirecting healthy, fresh food from businesses away from the landfill to their network of +30 charity partners working with the most vulnerable members of their community.
Since mid-March, their +300 volunteer food drivers have collected and distributed 153,757 pounds of food (that’s 128,130 meals!) to the most vulnerable residents, particularly children and single-parent led families.
As restaurants and food businesses abruptly had to temporarily close due to COVID-19 imposed measures, Vancouver Food Runners’ amazing volunteers were ready to collect this food and directly get it to their network of charity partners working with the food insecure.
Vancouver Food Runners will use the grant for marketing and outreach materials to recruit new food donors to expand their food recovery program.
“More food donors equals more surplus food going to the most vulnerable members of our community.” – Michelle Reining, Program Director
“We love bees, farming, and making people feel great.”
MacPherson’s Natural Bee Apiary provides honey, maple syrup, and wax products. In 2019 they began supplying local stores, and were experiencing good growth.
Then, due to COVID-19, their business was closed for nearly 3 months. Markets where they normally sell products were not able to open. But this amazing business managed to bring positivity, even as they were struggling, and launched a “Bee the Change” campaign, selling shirts and hats to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity. After seeing just how big of an impact this was having, they started another project: a basket of local goods used as a raffle to raise funds for their local homeless shelter.“In the first 4-5 days, we are thrilled to say we’ve already raised $450 for the shelter.” (Tickets are on sale from Oct 1 – Nov 19 via their FB).
Along with these initiatives to give back, they have been working hard to keep stores stocked as the regulations ease in NB, and seeking out new partners to stock with lotions and balms.
The grant funds will help their efforts to adapt and additionally sell eggs, and other crops from their farm locally – as well as help with marketing and creation of their Etsy store to further online sales and reach a wider market.
“As we continue to try and grow in this ever changing environment, in someways, it feels as though we are facing challenges just as our bees are. Changing environments force them into some hard situations much like COVID has us.
We want to say thank you so much to you, and to those supporting your idea of making change and supporting people in their dreams”
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