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Vancouver Foundation helps families cope with disabilities
February 9, 2012—In 2011, Vancouver Foundation,through its Giving in Action Society (GIA), gave out $4.8 million to 137 BC families who care for a family member with a disability. This money helped to pay for 70 home renovation projects — including lifts, elevators, ramps, flooring, door widening, bathroom improvements — and helped 83 families purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles.
“The families we support face many challenges,” says Andria Teather, VP Grants and Community Initiatives with Vancouver Foundation. “Just providing basic care for a family member with a disability — feeding, bathing, dressing, transportation — can be a struggle, especially when that care is needed round-the-clock. Many of the families we support are physically, emotionally and financially exhausted. They often can’t afford to pay all the costs for necessary physical improvements or adaptations in their homes or vehicles that could make life a lot easier.”
Vancouver Foundation’s GIA grants can be life changing; they help not only the individual with a disability, but also their entire family. Andrew Rakoczy and his family on Vancouver Island are an example. “Andy” is 25 years-old, has a rare condition that has caused severe brain damage, and requires 24-hour care. Andy was living in a care home, away from his family, until a GIA grant helped the family to build an independent suite for him in their house.
“The suite is beautiful and Andy loves it so much,” says his mother Cynthia Goldsbury. “And he loves being with his family. This has been a blessing for all of us. We are so thankful to you all. Andy is home.”
Andy’s family is just one of more than 960 BC families GIA has helped since 2006, and research shows that thousands more could benefit from these grants. Funding for GIA is expected to end in 2013.
Giving in Action is an initiative of Vancouver Foundation, with generous support from BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development, and Community Living BC. GIA helps people with disabilities and their families stay together in their homes and connect to their communities by providing grants for home renovations and to purchase wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
For more information visit www.givinginaction.ca
Vancouver Foundation helps build more vibrant and resilient communities in BC. We do this by harnessing the gifts of energy, ideas, time, and money of caring citizens to make meaningful and lasting impacts. We are Canada’s largest community foundation and we’ve been investing in communities since 1943.