(ANNews) – Alberta Blue Cross is calling on organizations across rural Alberta that are serving their communities through the pandemic to apply for grant funding through its COVID Community Roots Program, which runs through to the end of 2020.
As part of its $500,000 commitment to supporting communities through the impact of the pandemic and the impact of low oil prices on the provincial economy, Alberta Blue Cross launched its COVID Community Roots Program in mid-June. The program is funded through its community foundation.
“Through this program, we are offering grants of up to $5,000 for grassroots, community-led initiatives serving vulnerable populations during the pandemic specifically to support services run in rural and remote communities,” says Brian Geislinger, vice-president of Corporate Relations with Alberta Blue Cross.
Alberta Blue Cross has partnered on the program with the Alberta Recreation and Parks Association and Communities Choosewell, who are helping to promote the program and review applications.
“We’ve had a great response to this program so far, with more than 100 applications received from across the province,” says Geislinger.
Some of the initiatives being funded to date include
• the Fort McKay Women’s Association, which requested help to purchase supplies including sports equipment, tables, chairs, hand sanitizer and gloves to eliminate sharing equipment during its summer recreation programs for kids;
• Building Brains Together, a charity in Lethbridge that provides mental health programs for newcomers and refugees—this funding will cover the cost of creating 200 take-home weekly activity kits for program participants;
• the Boys and Girls Club of Leduc, serving high risk children and youth, asked for funding to help retrofit the club by installing acrylic barriers, social distancing markers, signage and sanitation stations so that it could reopen; and
• the Town of Westlock, which requested support to cover expenses for a program through which it is partnering up with Alberta Health Services to conduct wellness calls, visits and grocery deliveries to isolated rural seniors.
Organizations can find more information about the program and apply on the Alberta Blue Cross website at ab.bluecross.ca/aboutus/community-roots.php.