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Donation helps northern BC residents with a disability

February 17, 2014

$20,000 donation from the Syd Vernon Foundation supports Giving in Action Society’s Endowment 150 program

$20,000 donation from the Syd Vernon Foundation supports Giving in Action Society’s Endowment 150 program

Residents in northern BC with disabilities recently received a welcome push along the road to financial security thanks to a $20,000 donation from the Syd Vernon Foundation to the Giving in Action Society’s Endowment 150 (E150) program specifically earmarked for northern communities.

Endowment 150, which is administered by Vancouver Foundation’s Giving in Action Society, helps individuals with a disability and their families plan for their future by providing a one-time $150 gift to help their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) grow. Once an RDSP account is set up, individuals can make annual contributions to the plan. The province estimates there are 30,000 people in BC who are eligible for E150.

The RDSP is a Canada-wide registered matched savings program which was announced by the Government of Canada in its 2007 budget, and became available in 2008. The plan is designed to help people with disabilities, their families and others save money for their future needs. People with disabilities can contribute a lifetime maximum of $200,000 to their RSDP before they turn 60.

Last year, the Giving in Action Society provided $106,681 in E150 grants to 711 BC residents towards their RDSPs — an 81 per cent increase over the previous year. The largest number of grant recipients came from the Fraser Valley, while northern BC accounted for the lowest number of recipients.

“The Endowment 150 program has proven to be a popular incentive for people to plan for their future and increase their financial stability,” said Jeanette Moss, Manager Grants & Community Initiatives, at Vancouver Foundation.

“We know that Endowment 150 applicants in the north tend to be harder to reach and more likely to live below the poverty line compared to residents in other parts of the province. The generous donation from the Syd Vernon Foundation will hopefully prompt more northern residents to open an RDSP and apply for E150, which in the long-run will make a positive difference in their lives.”

“Endowment 150 is an important program that can make a significant difference in the lives of people with disabilities,” said Ron Whittaker, Vice President of the Syd Vernon Foundation. “With ongoing support from valued donors, an increasing number of BC residents with disabilities will be able to establish individual RDSPs and build a sound financial future in the communities where they live.”

The Syd Vernon Foundation was established in 1988 by Susan Joy Whittaker in honour of her father. The foundation raises and disburses funds to enable the provision of graduate student bursaries, and to support persons with a disability, promoting their health, welfare, quality of life and well-being.

Since 2008, the Giving in Action Society has distributed more than $550,000 in E150 grants to 3,700 residents with an RDSP. Northern residents account for approximately six per cent of the all E150 grants received. In addition to the Endowment 150 program, Giving in Action currently administers two programs that provide grants directly to families living with a relative with a disability.

For more information about the RDSP, visit and to find out more about Endowment 150, please visit

About Giving in Action
Giving in Action (GIA) was established in 2006 by Vancouver Foundation, and supports individuals with disabilities and their families. Grants are provided to help individuals fully participate in their home and community as well as achieve financial security. Since its inception, the Society has donated $40 million dollars across British Columbia through its granting programs. Grants make a dynamic and positive difference in the lives of individuals and families.

Media contact:

Vancouver Foundation


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