Slaight Family Foundation announces $11M donation Children and Youth Initiative to 11 Canadian national charities supporting the healthy development of children across Canada

February 10, 2016

Slaight Family Foundation announces $11M donation
Children and Youth Initiative to 11 Canadian national charities supporting the healthy development of children across Canada

Toronto (February 10, 2016) – The Slaight Family Foundation today announced that it will donate $11 million to support 11 national charities serving children and youth. The donation will be split equally among all groups, which include Rick Hansen Foundation, Kids Help Phone, Children’s Wish Foundation, Canadian Feed The Children, Children’s Aid Foundation, Frontier College, Pathways to Education Canada, Breakfast Club of Canada, Canadian Red Cross, CANFAR, and Special Olympics Canada.

This strategic approach to philanthropy aims to support and aid in the healthy development of Canada’s most vulnerable children and youth. The funding will enable these organizations to kick-start new initiatives or quickly expand services to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of children in Canada.

 “Each of the organizations and their programs are ensuring that children and youth are supported in all areas of their lives.  By focusing on younger Canadians they are shaping the future of our country,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Family Foundation. “We hope these gifts provide them with the resources to help children lead healthy, successful and positive lives.  We would also encourage others to support these national initiatives for the betterment of Canadian children and youth”

The gifts were announced today at an event hosted by the Slaight Family Foundation. Chief executive officers from all of the benefitting charities spoke about the importance of these gifts and the projects they will support.  

The donations will fund 11 projects that provide the support and opportunities for children and youth to succeed. Each project will touch on a different, but equally important, area of their lives, including: shelter, school food programs for remote and marginalized communities, AIDS awareness and prevention, anti-violence program, literacy, post-secondary education increased physical activity for children with disabilities and beyond.

The Slaight Family Foundation Gifts, in detail:

Rick Hansen Foundation
Expand the Youth Ambassador program to raise awareness of people with disabilities
Rick Hansen Ambassadors share their personal experiences about living with a disability and how they overcome challenges. The donation will allow the recruitment and training of additional ambassadors, increasing the number of presentations made every year. Additionally, new part-time Provincial Coordinators will generate additional speaking opportunities and an online version will be developed.

Kids Help Phone
Expand professional online live chat counselling services
The donation will allow Kids Help Phone’s Live Chat services to expand its capacity, reduce the queue for service, and deliver Live Chat to more young people. This will directly impact the lives of an additional 7,000 youth over the next four years, including those in remote communities and who would not have sought help any other way.

Children’s Wish Foundation
Fulfilling wishes of children with severe neurological diseases
Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is now granting wishes to children with serious neurological and genetic diagnosis. These at-risk children have complex care and mobility challenges and are highly dependent on their families for daily activities. Each wish is planned with the children and their families to enjoy respite from their illnesses, a renewed sense of hope and to memories to last a lifetime.

Canadian Feed The Children
Food security program for First Nations communities
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds is a national First Nations food security program, designed to reach 20 First Nations communities by 2020. The vision is to help build transformative and sustainable change by expanding beyond school feeding and implementing community-led food security programs, which will help children and communities thrive for generations to come.

Children’s Aid Foundation
Providing transition housing for youth exiting the child welfare system
The Right at Home Program is a national housing support program serving and improving outcomes of youth who are “ageing out” of the child welfare system. The first national initiative of its kind, the program aims to bring best-practice solutions and support to vulnerable youth. The program will also bring much needed awareness to the critical issue of youth homelessness.

Frontier College
Increase volunteer training to expand youth literacy
Over the next four years, 30 youth interns will be mentored annually to integrate literacy activities into high-needs communities across Canada. The interns will mobilize and support approximately 1,000 volunteer tutors annually and support the delivery of 10 Aboriginal Summer Literacy Camps. As a result, they will help strengthen the literacy skills of over 4,000 marginalized children and youth.

Pathways to Education Canada
Increase post-secondary education for vulnerable youth
Establishing the Slaight Family At-Risk Youth Scholarship Fund will provide post-secondary scholarships to 275 students as well as transition supports for more than 5,000 students over the next four years. The goal is to motivate youth to stay in school and on-track for post-secondary study, relieve some of the financial burden and help break the cycle of poverty in Canada’s highest risk communities. 

Breakfast Club of Canada
Providing breakfast to schools in rural and remote cities
By 2020, the Club will add a minimum of 20 breakfast programs across Canada, providing breakfast to over 2,000 children and youth, specifically in rural and remote Saskatchewan and Alberta. In addition to providing financial support to purchase groceries and kitchen equipment, the Club will assist with providing best practice guidelines for planning, shopping, and creating healthy menus.

Canadian Red Cross
Healthy relationships and violence prevention programs in schools
The Canadian Red Cross’ new Healthy Youth Relationships Program is an educational program designed to help youth develop healthy relationships and prevent violence in middle and high school grades. As part of this initiative, youth 14 years of age and older in over 700 schools across the country will be trained and certified to co-facilitate learning activities to their peers.

Youth AIDS awareness and prevention programs
CANFAR is expanding its awareness programs and developing more resources to give marginalized youth groups access to the tools needed to make healthy decisions that prevent HIV. Project funds will be used to build programs with community partners, including the delivery of skills-building workshops, the development and distribution of educational resources and community awareness activities.

Special Olympics Canada
Increased physical activities to children with intellectual disabilities
Funding to increase leadership training, equipment rentals and the development of online resources will deliver the Active Start and FUNdamentals programs to more communities, families and children across its 12 Provincial and Territorial Chapters. The programs provide children with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to improve physical, social, and cognitive abilities through play.


For more information or to coordinate an interview, please contact:

Alison King
Media Profile
[email protected]

Georgia Boutsalis
Media Profile
[email protected]