The annual celebration for the Northern Neighbours Foundation may have been cancelled, but grants from the group still went out into the community.
The COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the organization’s planned 25th anniversary celebration, but around $90,000 in money from the group and the Moffat Family Fund was distributed to several community causes.
Projects from Denare Beach, Creighton, Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage and Snow Lake received money to help with infrastructure and services.
Jane Robillard, president of the Northern Neighbours Foundation, said figuring out where to give money was made tougher by COVID-19. The foundation had to communicate through emails and online video to make their decisions.
“We could not sit down in a group where we would normally take a look at all the grant applications, then prioritize them and have lots of back and forth discussions,” she said.
“We just didn't have the opportunity to have those really frank discussions.”
In total, 15 projects received funds through the Moffat grants, ranging from $1,000 to the Ecole McIsaac School Lego Club to $15,000 for a washroom renovation at the Norman Community Services home.
“We didn't have the same number of applicants we've had other years,” Robillard said.
“I don't know if it's just because all this other stuff was happening or what.”
Robillard said the Moffat fund is devoted to giving out money to projects that can help seniors, youth or the disadvantaged. One of the projects funded in 2020 is a new public washroom at the Lord’s Bounty Food Bank.
“People may not understand that, especially once this whole COVID-19 thing started, there is not a public washroom uptown for people to use, unless they go into the Primary Health Care center,” she said.
“For all our street folks, there is nowhere. Now, we have - and it's actually finished - a washroom in our food bank that has a place to wash and there's going to be a needle drop box there and those kinds of things. That was definitely a high need.”
The organization is still waiting to give out funds from the Joe Brain and Smart and Caring Funds, which will give out another $45,000 to local projects. The foundation is also in charge of deciding Manitoba 150 grants in the region, which are expected to be announced later this year.
Grants for 2020