Local credit union matches first $5k donated to Kingston Community Climate Action Fund

Kingston Community Credit Union (KCCU) presents a cheque for $5,000 to the 2023 Kingston Community Climate Action Fund on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (L to R: Robert Trentadue, Director of KCCU, Jon Dessau, CEO of KCCU, Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson, Kingston City Councillor Jimmy Hassan, Geoff Hendry of Sustainable Kingston, and Erin Monts, Director of Frontenac Club Day Care. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

With just under two months until the deadline for contributions to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund, the local fundraising campaign has received a substantial cash injection.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, the Kingston Community Credit Union (KCCU) presented the Climate Action Fund with a $5,000 cheque. The funds were donated to match the first $5,000 donated to the fund from the local community.

Now in its third year, the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund supports local projects that will help reduce greenhouse gases in the community. This year, three such projects will benefit from the Climate Action Fund. Those projects (see details below) have been proposed by the Frontenac Club Day Care Integration Program, Sustainable Kingston, and Ongwanada.

“The Community Climate Action Fund is a great grassroots initiative that is funding sustainability initiatives across the community, giving residents a chance to be able to contribute to those projects,” explained Mayor Bryan Paterson. The fundraising campaign, he said, “all started when we agreed that we wanted to provide an extra way for people to help” such causes.

“We have so many people in our community that are passionate about climate action. Obviously, there’s only so much we can do as a City. This is something above and beyond,” Paterson continued, “And it’s great to see the community coming forward with their own funds to be able to support further initiatives – it means that we can reach our goals that much more quickly.”

In the three years the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund has benefited local projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, KCCU has matched the first $5,000 raised in the campaign; across those three years, the local credit union has donated $15,000 to the fund, and therefore projects aimed at taking “climate action.”

Jon Dessau, CEO of KCCU, explained that the local credit union has been involved in the Climate Action fund “since the moment the City started planning” the fundraising project. At the cheque presentation, he spoke to some of the past projects that have benefited through the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund.

“Well, the first year, it was fun to help Martha’s Table and Habitat for Humanity,” he shared.

“You know, Martha’s Table is so busy providing meals,” Dessau continued, noting that while Martha’s Table was already renovating inside their premises in 2021, the Climate Action Fund was able to help with that, and help them make some changes outside their building by way of a new electric vehicle to allow the organization to continue their work while reducing its carbon footprint.

“That was fantastic because they’re busy collecting money for the people they serve, not for their own chairs and tables and vehicles,” Dessau expressed.

“So, I think this really fills an important hole or niche that needs to be filled.”

As KCCU presented $5,000 to the fundraising campaign, Kingstonist was able to catch up with a representative from one of this year’s benefactors.

“We’ve been accepted as part of the Climate Action Fund to install two heat pumps and insulation. We are renovating to have 22 more spaces in our daycare,” Erin Monts, Director of Frontenac Club Day Care, confirmed.

For her organization, taking on the project might not have even happened if not for the Climate Action Fund and the support of the community, Monts shared.

“It definitely would not have been possible, and we probably wouldn’t have even thought about it,” she said.

“The kids have really enjoyed watching the renovations and it’s been a good learning experience for them, teaching them about the climate and all that fun stuff.”

Monts expressed excitement over the perfect timing of this round of the Climate Action Fund, which aligned with the renovations Frontenac Club Day Care already had planned – and helped to make those renovations better for the environment. Having started on the renovation work in the summer of 2022, Monts said they expect the work to be completed by the end of this month. With the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund accepting donations until the end of March, Frontenac Club Day Care has plans to host an open house around the same time, allowing the community to come into their facilities and check out the impacts their donations helped make first hand.

“Thank you to the community for supporting us. We’re in our 40th year this year, so this has been huge,” said Monts, noting she and her organization are thrilled to “be able to just continue serving the community.”

According to the City of Kingston, the three projects benefiting from the 2023 Community Climate Action Fund are as follows:

Frontenac Club Day Care Integration Programme – Fundraising goal: $59,510

Frontenac Club Day Care is seeking your support for building retrofits to create 22 new licensed daycare spaces in Kingston and wheelchair-accessible preschool and infant rooms,” the City said in a press release.

“These building retrofits include the installation of two new heat pump systems in both the coach house and infant house well as spray foam insulation, improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).”

Ongwanada – Fundraising goal: $19,600 

“Ongwanada is seeking your support to purchase an electric wheelchair transport bike that can be used to take the residents of Ongwanada on outdoor excursions in Kingston to help maintain their mental and physical health,” the City of Kingston relayed.

“The electric bike will provide residents with the necessary support while enjoying the outdoors and staying active. These bikes would reduce Ongwanada’s contribution to GHGs by taking residents out for excursions in an electric-powered bike instead of a fossil fuel-burning van.”

Sustainable Kingston – Fundraising goal: $33,198    

“Sustainable Kingston is seeking your support for the purchase of an electric vehicle that will replace gas-powered vehicle use,” according to the City.

“The Residential Energy Auditors will use this electric vehicle when they perform home energy audits across Kingston, directly reducing GHGs and promoting energy conservation.”

Donations to the Kingston Community Climate Action Fund are accepted at all KCCU branches, can be made online through CanadaHelps, and can be made in person at the Kingston City Hall Payment Centre. For more information on the three organizations benefiting from the 2023 Community Climate Action Fund, visit the Frontenac Club Day Care website, the Ongwanada website, and the Sustainable Kingston website.

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