In 1936, in a tiny soup kitchen called the Sunshine Inn on Pandora Street, the Victoria Foundation received its first donation of a humble $20.
Today, as the oldest community foundation in B.C. and the second oldest in Canada, the Victoria Foundation joins B.C. in celebrating the provincial government’s decision to declare September ‘Community Foundations Month.’
In the proclamation, the province notes that “hundreds of volunteer organizations, charities and non-profits are given support through community foundations.”
In Victoria, the Foundation’s work is ever-present, but in some ways, invisible to the greater community, says CEO Sandra Richardson. Not to be mistaken with a fundraising body, money comes in from wills, estates and generous donors before being granted out to a large variety of Greater Victoria non-profits.
“People in this community, they really work together and support one another,” Richardson said. “The community foundation tends to hold it all together. Our goal is strengthening community well being.”
To do that, Richardson says investments are made not just in causes, but in the people.
The Foundation’s mission statement, “connecting people who care with causes that matter” is a simplified statement for its wide-ranging work, which invests in everything from food security and environment to scholarships and youth programs.
The Foundation is tireless in working to better the lives of our region, says Richardson, and it’s heartwarming to see that work recognized across the province.
“It’s a lovely to see a little sun shine on community foundations,” she said. “This is your community foundation, we want to make sure we are as helpful as we can be.”
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