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Sisters of Providence gift $5M to the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area

Heathfield, the Motherhouse for the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. Image via Providence.ca.

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul will be making a $5 Million transformational gift to help the Kingston community respond to some of the greatest needs among the youngest and oldest citizens — to build resiliency in children and to reduce loneliness and isolation among seniors.

The Sisters have gifted these funds to the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area (CFKA) to be invested in high-impact, local initiatives that will support transformative, sustainable, systems-level change in two areas where both organizations see critical community needs, according to a release from CFKA.

One focus area for this funding, which, according to the foundation, builds on community work already under way, is to help prevent and mitigate the lifelong impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and build resiliency generally in children, families, and our community.

The second initiative, still in its early planning stages, will focus on reducing seniors’ social isolation and loneliness, a growing concern amplified more recently by the pandemic, the foundation said.

“We are honoured, humbled, and thrilled that the Sisters have entrusted us with this gift to drive meaningful change in our community,” says CFKA Executive Director Tina Bailey. “This tremendous gift will allow us to quickly ramp up and build on the collaborative work we have been facilitating for the past two years on ACEs and to explore similar innovative approaches to addressing loneliness among seniors.”

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul were founded in Kingston in 1861 for the purpose of caring for the vulnerable of that time. In their 160 years, they have strived to maintain that Mission, mainly through education, healthcare and social advocacy.

“As we look to the future, the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area seemed like a wonderful vehicle through which to leave a legacy gift to continue our Mission with youth and seniors,” shared Sister Sandra Shannon, General Superior of the Sisters of Providence. “The 25-year history of CFKA gives us great confidence in this organization. It is our hope that through this gift and relying on CFKA we will touch the lives of Kingstonians in a positive, productive manner for some years to come.”

Reflecting a desire to achieve immediate and maximum impact from their gift, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul Community Impact Fund is not an endowment but will be fully expended on high-impact community initiatives and programs over the next five to ten years, according to the release.

The Community Foundation said they will announce more detailed plans for the fund later this fall and continue to keep the community informed of the use of these funds over the coming months and years.

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