While the County is renowned for its beauty and tranquillity, many of the people who live here are suffering. Poverty, homelessness, and addiction are just some of the things affecting the quality of life for residents. One charity, The County Foundation, is working to alleviate some of these pressures.
Dominique Jones, the Foundation’s Executive Director, spoke at the Rotary Club this month.
“The County Foundation does a lot of things — there’s a lot of potential for impact,” explained Ms. Jones. “We’re a local charity focused on building an inclusive community where people can grow, work, play and thrive.”
Ms. Jones noted research is key to improving life in the County.
“Our research, Vital Signs, helps to identify local needs. We use this information to direct funding into areas where that money will have the largest impact,” she said.
“Through Vital Signs, we don’t just have this one report, we also have a live data bank updated every month with information about healthcare, community, housing and the environment,” said Ms. Jones.
The Foundation has three focus areas: they collect and analyze data to produce their reports; develop charitable funds; and catalyze and support collaborative action with community partners.
Ms. Jones noted the foundation is part of the Greater Than Youth Collective, the Food Collective, the Getting Around Transportation Collective and Thrive PEC, which focuses on the economy.
“We were able to fund over $2 million to those projects,” said Jones. “With Community Grants, probably what we’re most widely known for, we facilitated moving over $4.2 million in funding into PEC. That’s continued to grow.”
The foundation manages 38 funds and has total assets of about $6.7 million. It was founded 2008 with just one fund valued at $125,000.
The Foundation budgets for about $1 million in funds for community causes each year.
Donors can target their funding using the resources of the Foundation.
“Donors can be more strategic with giving and leverage resources we have available such as Vital Signs data and the know-how of staff,” said Ms. Jones. “Donors can choose to fund existing causes, such as food insecurity, or make a bequest.”
Andy Janikowski spoke to fellow Rotarians of the suffering in the County and ways to help.
“When you see all the BMWs and Audis in town and then you see all the restaurants, you might think things are pretty good around here. Unfortunately, that’s superficial,” said Mr. Janikowski. “Underneath the money there’s a lot of pain and suffering. When you drive down county roads you see houses that look nice, but if you ever have a chance to go in these homes, you see the pain, the suffering and the loneliness. There are so many issues in this community. We must improve on what we’re doing.”
For more information about The County Foundation, please visit: https://thecountyfoundation.ca/
For more information about the Rotary Club of Picton, please visit: https://pictonrotary.ca/