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Vancouver Foundation commends BC Government for its $2 million funding commitment for families coping with disabilities

Vancouver Foundation President and CEO Faye Wightman commended the BC government for its $2 million funding commitment for the Giving in Action Society (GIA), which was announced today by Moira Stilwell, Minister of Social Development for BC.

March 11, 2013 -- Vancouver Foundation President and CEO Faye Wightman commended the BC government for its $2 million funding commitment for the Giving in Action Society (GIA), which was announced today by Moira Stilwell, Minister of Social Development for BC.

“The $2 million in funding provided by the Ministry of Social Development will go a long way towards improving the quality of life and care of children, youth and adult family members with a disability throughout British Columbia,” said Wightman.

The Giving in Action Society provides one-time grants for home renovation projects and the purchase of wheelchair accessible vehicles enabling children, youth and adult family members with a disability to continue to live with their families and connect with their communities. Outside of Giving in Action, there are few alternatives available for BC families who require this type of support. 

In 2012, Vancouver Foundation, through Giving in Action, provided $4.2 million in grants to 140 BC families who care for a family member with a disability.  The money helped pay for 70 adaptive home renovation projects – including lifts, elevators, ramps, flooring, door widening, bathroom improvements – and helped 75 families purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles.

 “The families we support through Giving in Action face many challenges,” added Wightman.  “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. A grant from Giving in Action can be life-changing for BC families, providing numerous ancillary benefits for the community and relieving pressure on the residential care system.” 

Government funding is often leveraged with donations from caring donors who recognize the value of this initiative.  Over the years, donors have contributed over a million dollars to this worthwhile program.                                                                  

Darby Skibington and her family in Kelowna are just one of the grant recipients who have benefited from Giving in Action. “Darby” is four years-old. She has a rare chromosome abnormality that limits her development. She uses a wheelchair, but because the house was not accessible — she and her chair had to be carried up and down stairs many times a day.
A Giving In Action grant helped the family to install a lift, and the effect was so profound that Darby’s mother Tyra wrote to her MLA...

“Thank you for supporting and honoring the families that struggle every day with not only the normal chaos of day-to-day life, but also struggle with the things that many people take for granted. We know that special kids teach the world about many things… Darby has taught us patience, unconditional love and universal acceptance. The road has not been easy and will continue to have its bumps, but having the support of our provincial government, our community, and our family makes the road a little less overwhelming.”       

An initiative of Vancouver Foundation, the Giving in Action Society was established in 2006 through the generous support of BC’s Ministry of Children and Family Development and Community Living BC. 

To view a three-minute video on Giving in Action, go to http://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 have been investing in communities since 1943.

For more information

604.688.2204

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