Funds will go to local United Ways and Centraides across Canada
TORONTO, July 25, 2019 /CNW/ - One in five children lives in poverty in Canada today. That means 1.3 million children cannot afford after-school sports or art classes, join their classmates on school trips or access the Internet to help with their school work.
To help build more resilient communities, Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is donating $1.34 million to support United Way Centraide-funded programs and agencies across the country that tackle child poverty in one of two ways:
- supporting children in their early years (0-6 years old)
- supporting parents through employability, skills building and networking opportunities
"We need to do more so no child loses the opportunity to learn and grow. We are addressing the root cause of child poverty: funding programs that help children learn and interact in their early years, and funding programs for parents to help them build skills to become more employable," said Louis Gagnon, President of Canadian Operations, Intact Financial Corporation.
Mr. Gagnon added that the donation is made possible with the generosity of Intact employees. "Poverty is a complex issue. With United Way's expertise and our employees' passion to make a difference, we are working to empower organizations to find ways to help children and their families," he said.
For every $1 employees donated to the United Way campaign last fall, the Intact Foundation allocated $1 towards child poverty reduction initiatives. More details on the projects being funded are available on the next page.
In 2018, Intact invested more than $2 million in 18 partnerships to help children living in poverty. Intact's direct-to-consumer channel, belairdirect, is partnering with the Breakfast Clubs of Canada to help children get a good start to their day. Intact is also partnering with UNICEF Canada to fund the establishment of the Canadian Index of Child and Youth Well-being, a measurement framework to understand how children are thriving.
- According to the 2016 Census, 17% of Canadian children lived in a low-income household in 2015. The 2017 Canadian Income Survey showed that number had dropped to 12.1% but it didn't include the territories and people living on reserves.
- Research by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Assembly of First Nations found indigenous, racialized and recent immigrant children are two to four times more likely to live in poverty.
- In 2018, the federal government released its first poverty reduction strategy aiming to reduce poverty by 50% in 2030. The strategy also set the first official measure of poverty, Canada's Official Poverty Line, based on the cost of a basket of goods and services that individuals and families require to meet their basic needs and achieve a modest standard of living.
Some of the United Way Centraide-funded projects Intact is supporting are:
United Way Greater Toronto
- WoodGreen Community Services – Homeward Bound ($183,856): Helps single mothers and their children transition from shelter life to economic self-sufficiency. The donation will ensure women receive stable housing, life skills and employment training, one-on-one counselling, childcare and afterschool programs for their children.
- ACCES Employment – Construction Trades Program ($86,000): A 13-week program that helps newcomers obtain employment in the construction sector every year. The program offers language and essential skills training, industry-recognized certifications and pre-apprenticeship preparation, as well as employment counselling, job development and coaching supports.
- Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough – Early Years Program ($120,000): Provides support to ensure children are prepared to succeed as they begin school. The program focuses on key developmental areas (mathematics, phonics/language, school readiness and physical activity) and provides family support workshops for parents.
- Centre for Immigrant and Community Services – Supporting Families in Transition ($202,000): This school-readiness program targets immigrant children under the age of six and their parents. The program helps children prepare for school and provides workshops for parents.
United Way Durham Region
- John Howard Society Active Parenting & Dads Programs ($29,158): The Active Parenting program helps parents develop their parenting skills and learn how to cope with stress, especially during transitional times. The Dads program helps fathers strengthen their relationship with their children and build support networks.
United Way Elgin Middlesex (London)
- Merrymount's Mutual Aid Parenting Program ($26,930): Provides free, positive parenting skills, practical resources and peer support for parents of infants and toddlers, with a focus on mental health.
United Way Centraide Ottawa
- The Saint Mary's Home – Success for Children of Teen Parents Program ($20,279): This attachment-focused parent and child development program provides adolescent parents (14-25 years old) and their children (prenatal to age 3 years) with early intervention and support.
- Youville Centre – Attachment-Based Parenting Program ($20,279): Program fosters healthy attachment relationships by engaging mother and child in play and music-based interactions, supporting healthy infant brain development.
- Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre – School's Cool project ($20,279): This six-week program, for children three to five years, uses a play-based curriculum to enhance children's skills in four areas: language, reasoning, socialization and self-help.
The United Way of Lower Mainland
- Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre – Avenues of Change 'Our Place' project ($22,170): A collaboration of local organizations, residents, businesses, schools, and community centres that have come together to improve outcomes for residents and increase community well-being in the inner city of Vancouver.
- The DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society – First Steps Early Years Refugee & Employment project ($22,170): Creates a safe environment where vulnerable refugee families can bring their children and learn how to parent in Canada while strengthening the parents' pre-employment life skills and employment support.
United Way Alberta Capital Region
- The Connect Society – Child & Family Services project ($20,075): This is a comprehensive collection of integrated services that helps mediate the developmental challenges experienced by children and families impacted by deafness in the early years.
- The Empower U project ($20,075): Combines financial literacy programs with a 1:2 matched savings component, where every dollar saved by participants generates two dollars in matched contributions.
United Way of Calgary and Area
- EvenStart Foundation – Family Support Program ($30,591): This program helps families strengthen their parenting skills, pursue educational and therapeutic goals in the home and connects them with community resources. It also teaches behavioral management skills and provides support to the family.
- Centraide Richelieu-Yamaska, Centraide of Greater Montreal and Centraide Québec et Chaudière-Appalaches will distribute $400,000 to Quebec-based charities with a focus on school readiness, parenting supports and youth success.
United Way Halifax
- Home of the Guardian Angel – Chebucto Family Centre ($25,000): Connects residents to one another and helps them build skills and assets through a range of community-based programs, activities, events and services.
About Intact Financial Corporation
Intact Financial Corporation (TSX: IFC) is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada and a leading provider of specialty insurance in North America, with over $10 billion in total annual premiums. The Company has approximately 14,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than five million personal, business and public sector clients through offices in Canada and the U.S. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. In the U.S., OneBeacon Insurance Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary, provides specialty insurance products through independent agencies, brokers, wholesalers and managing general agencies.
SOURCE Intact Financial Corporation