The funding aimed to support organizations that were forced to shift gears or adapt their fundraising efforts, allowing them to continue delivering vital services to residents in Collingwood and area.
"EPCOR developed the Heart + Soul Fund to help uplift and revitalize the communities in which we operate," said Susannah Robinson, EPCOR Vice President Ontario Operations. "We're proud to support charitable organizations that provide essential services, as well as those who help bring joy back into our lives.
The Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions Holiday Giving Campaign is currently underway to help vulnerable families in need. Funding provided by EPCOR will be used to purchase essential items and winter wear for families, as well as toys for children.
"We are grateful that we are surrounded by a community that cares for vulnerable children, youth and families, especially in a year when the pandemic has impacted so many more," said Melanie McLearon, Director of Communications & Community Relations for Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions. "Providing assistance of basic needs for families struggling financially makes a meaningful difference and we are so appreciative to EPCOR for their support. It really takes a village to care for kids, and we are so glad EPCOR is a part of it."
EPCOR also contributed to Collingwood's Out of the Cold task force after hearing its story about completing a feasibility study to assess the need for a permanent homeless shelter serving South Georgian Bay.
With support from EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund, the Collingwood Youth Centre will host its Virtual Foodies Program that is designed to encourage and educate youth in culinary arts while cooking with their family from the comfort of their home.
"The support from EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund will allow us to continue investing in the youth in our community," said Kerri MacDonald, Board Member, Collingwood Youth Centre. "Our free Youth Foodies Program gives young people a chance to develop their culinary skills from a certified Chef and prepare a meal to share with their family. "
After two successful shows in February and March, Theatre Collingwood had to cancel its Summer Theatre Festival and annual fundraisers due to the impact of COVID-19. EPCOR's contribution will help fund online performances for the 2020-21 season including Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree, which runs until January 3, 2021.
To help foster a love and appreciation for the arts amongst our youth, EPCOR contributed to the arts programs at Admiral Collingwood Elementary School and Beaver Valley Community School.
EPCOR also proudly supported the Collingwood Art Crawl in September and is currently sponsoring safe Santa visits, hosted by the Collingwood Downtown Business Improvement Area.
EPCOR's focus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been on continuing to deliver essential services our communities count on, supporting customers whose incomes have been disrupted, and protecting the health and safety of our employees, contractors and customers.
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EPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 75 employer.