Several local service groups were the recipients of mini-grants under the Building Community Capacity in Rural Waterloo Region Initiative, a project sponsored by the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries.
Funded with the support from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation, five groups from Wellesley and Woolwich townships were awarded mini-grants of less than $1,000.
The Wellesley North Easthope Agricultural Society, the Wellesley Township Seniors Networking Group, the Heidelberg Parks and Recreation Association, Woolwich Community Health Centre and the Maryhill Playgroup were among the rural organizations that were successful in their funding bids.
“It’s a really great project. We piloted it about four years ago, and we’ve been able to offer it in some form ever since. I’m very glad of the support of the Hallman Foundation because without that we couldn’t continue but they’ve been very generous,” said Dina Etmanskie of the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries.
To qualify for the mini-grants, which are small community betterment grants to encourage neighbourhood groups and organizations to bring about change in their community, applicants have to be living or working on projects in the rural areas of the Waterloo Region. A variety of project applications were submitted, including projects for child development, youth development, promotion of education and training, health and wellness, nutrition, welcoming and supporting newcomers, violence prevention, and arts and culture.
This time around, the council received nearly 20 applications for the mini-grants from a variety of nonprofits, arts organizations, and grassroots groups.
Service groups or agencies do not have to be registered charities to qualify for grants.
“One of the beauties of these mini-grants is that there’s no requirement that you be a registered charity – the intent is to make them as accessible as possible to people in the community with ideas,” said Etmanskie.