2021 marks 25 years for the Ontario Paper Thorold Foundation and its role as an independent foundation in Niagara, that has contributed more than $4 million to local brick and mortar-projects for social causes in the region.
"Initially, I thought we'd keep a low profile for it, but I think the anniversary could be used to increase our visibility in the community and highlight some of the projects," said president Adrian Barnet in an interview with Thoroldnews.com.
Almost a quarter into the new year, the foundation is carrying out its commitments that were decided in the foundation's budget late last year in its four program areas: health and wellness, education, social services, and environment.
During COVID-19, the foundation made donations to offset the impact of the pandemic to Community Care and Project Share.
Among the most substantial donations is three-year funding of $20,000 for the recent construction of an apartment complex in St Catharines that provides supportive housing for vulnerable women and children.
Family services have been top of mind among the projects that the foundation decides to help out financially.
"The demand is loud and clear. It is one of those areas that has sprung out of the pandemic, and that building is especially important," said Barnet.
Other projects currently on the foundations' roster include Wellspring Niagara, Pathstone Mental Health, Hotel Dieu Shaver, Niagara Health, and Pink Pearl, which provides support for young women facing cancer.
Barnet said it's in the foundations' core identity to help out in the community.
"Back in the day, the mayor of Thorold could call up Arthur Schmon (the former CEO of Ontario Paper, editors note.), in case something needed to be done, and he'd have work crews around giving a hand in the city the next day."
To learn more about the foundation, and how to submit an application, visit their website.