This post brought to you by Aviva Community Fund. All opinions are 100% mine.
The Aviva Community Fund is a program of AVIVA Insurance, which seeks to give back to communities across Canada by providing funding in support of local change and development initiatives. In its fourth year, the program will distribute $1,000,000 to a group of worthy projects, selected through a combination of public voting and assessment by a panel of judges. Voting occured in four stages from October to December. The voting is now over, and the judges are hard at work reviewing the 30 finalists to determine who will receive full funding for their local cause. All finalists will receive a minimum of $5000 for their projects. January will be an exciting month!
The Fund will fully support at least one project in each of three categories - Small Idea (up to $50,000), Medium Idea ($50,000-$100,000) and Large Idea ($100,000-$150,000). Additionally, there will be a grand prize winner of up to $150,000 in each of two other categories - Broker-Supported Idea, and Homeless/At-Risk Youth Idea (new this year). The balance of the $1,000,000 will be distributed among remaining ideas based on the judges rankings.
Winners for this year will be announced on January 29.
I appreciate a company that works to give back to local communities and share a portion of their profits to encourage positive change. Reading through the descriptions of the 30 finalist ideas, there's a lot of inspiration. From playgrounds in the arctic, to animal rescue shelters, skate parks, youth mentoring programs, school library improvements, and more, there is much here to give hope and to highlight how communities can work together, given the resources, to improve their circumstances.
You know I'm an animal lover, and a Newfoundlander. I had a look through the finalists and I see there is one from my home province - the Happy Valley Goose Bay SPCA. This shelter serves the entirety of Labrador, and is severely under-resourced, with a much less than adequate space - tiny and past its prime. They are in desperate need of a new building to house their animals, providing them with a safe and comfortable place to live while they wait for their forever home. This group is trying its hardest to help the neglected, orphaned, abandoned and abused animals of Labrador, and a grant from AVIVA would certainly be a blessing. I am crossing my fingers for them to come out as winners in the Medium Idea category!