As The Salvation Army celebrates the one-year anniversary of its Dignity Project, an initiative designed to educate and inform the public about the challenges facing society’s most vulnerable people, a generous donation from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is making it possible to promote dignity for years to come.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and members of the Weston Family, who have a relationship with The Salvation Army that spans over 40 years, provided a $3 million grant to the Army to strengthen and expand the operations of two existing Salvation Army Family Centres in Winnipeg and Calgary.
Named after the late Barbara Mitchell, daughter of Garfield Weston, The Salvation Army Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centres in Winnipeg and Calgary will provide a broad range of integrated services in response to the needs of the communities they serve. Individuals supported by Centre programs have been affected by low education/literacy levels, language, culture, social isolation, family violence, inadequate employment skills and low coping skills.
“Through the work of our family foundation, we are honoured to be continuing our mother’s legacy of supporting organizations that care for people in need in communities across Canada,” said Eliza Mitchell, Director of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation. “The Centres, named for our mother, will support families struggling to overcome adversity. Our mother’s commitment to helping those less fortunate will be reflected in the wonderful work of The Salvation Army”.
In Winnipeg, Salvation Army programs commenced operation in the new facility in March, with an official opening scheduled for this summer. The generous grant from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation will cover a portion of the construction costs as well as enable the Centre to provide enhanced youth programming, operate during the evenings and weekends, and introduce a new Seniors Outreach program.
The Salvation Army Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre in Calgary will enhance its current Community and Family Services as well as introduce new programming. The renovated Centre will allow The Salvation Army to expand its Global Café Program, introduce a Community Kitchen Program that teaches clients how to adjust to shopping and cooking in Canada, and provide much needed computer equipment and staffing for the establishment of a new Employment and Educational Resource Centre.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity shown to us by The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and the Weston Family,” said Commissioner Brian Peddle, Territorial Commander for The Salvation Army in Canada & Bermuda. “Through this charitable donation, The Salvation Army will be able to continue to provide programs and services that promote dignity for our clients today and every day after.”
About The W. Garfield Weston Foundation The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950’s by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta. In 1924 Garfield inherited his father’s company and during his life established bakeries and other successful enterprises throughout Canada and in many parts of the world. Today, these businesses include the George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited, companies in food retailing, processing and distribution. The founders believed that as the funds are generated through the hard work and success of these Canadian companies, grants should be given in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. For three generations, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has maintained a family tradition of supporting charitable organizations across Canada. Today the Foundation directs the majority of its funds to projects in the fields of land conservation, education, and science in Canada’s North.
About The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.