Crisis Fund to ‘Be There’ for Kids

Celebrating its 30th year, the Foundation for Education has developed a new strategic plan and is excited to announce that they are stepping up amidst a growing crisis affecting children and youth in Perth and Huron.

It’s been reported by United Way Perth Huron that approximately 15% of school-aged children and youth in Perth Huron live in low-income households – an estimated 2300 Avon Maitland (AMDSB) students.

“Faced with this stark reality and knowing that poverty is a powerful factor in whether a student succeeds in school, we have built a framework for a district-wide fund that will finally help level the playing field for kids”, states Wes MacVicar, the Foundation for Education’s Executive Director.

“Whether students lack basic necessities, face difficult challenges at home or find themselves in emergency situations- we will soon be able to be there with a quick and compassionate response.”

The fund is called the Caring Fund and this year is the building year with funds scheduled to be available for students beginning this September (2020).

“The community has been quick to see the need for such a fund. Donations are beginning to come in and that’s been very encouraging.”

Over recent months, Foundation staff have been compiling poverty statistics, accessible school council fundraising data and Principal testimonials for Avon Maitland decision-makers through which to demonstrate, what MacVicar calls, “the crisis on their doorsteps” and to ask for financial support of the Foundation alongside their local communities.

“We’re confident that they will see and respond. In our experience, AMDSB, despite budget constraints, has always chosen the way of equity, inclusion and the well-being of vulnerable students. They are known for this around the Province.”

It should be noted that the Huron Perth Catholic District School Board also has a structure in place to help their vulnerable students through a longstanding support program called the St. Andre Bessette Trust Fund. More information on their fund can be found at www.huronperthcatholic.ca.

Based on local living standard forecasts, the trend around the Province and the immediate damage that COVID-19 has caused household incomes and job security, annual pressure on assistance programs like the Caring Fund will increase exponentially.

The Foundation and its Board recognizes this reality and is fully prepared to perpetually be on the lookout for financial support to keep the fund healthy and the needs of students met.

They would like to thank those who have come forward already to help spark the new fund to life and to lay the groundwork for assisting students in crisis.

Together, we look forward to providing kids with the opportunity to focus on learning … not on the barriers they are facing.

Individuals, service clubs or businesses wishing to partner with the Foundation through their Caring Fund can do so by clicking the Donate Button below or by contacting the Foundation via email (caringfund@foundationforeducation.ca) or by calling 519-527-0111 ext 239.

More information can be found at www.foundationforeducation.ca.