Local non-profits can apply for COVID-19 funds through GP charity

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Until May 31, the government of Alberta will match funds up to $2 million for COVID-19 relief. These have to be donated to a short list of charities. One of the organizations which works in the Slave Lake area is Community Foundations of Northwestern Alberta (CFNA). Funds are then distributed by this organization to groups providing COVID-19 relief.

CFNA’s office is in Grande Prairie. It covers the western half of northern Alberta. Slave Lake area is on the eastern boundary. The southern boundary is south of Fox Creek and Grande Cache.

Laura LaValley is the new CEO.

There are other Community Foundations in the province, says LaValley. A new office was just opened in Fort McMurray to cover the northeast.
However, the boundaries between the branches of the organization are fluid.

The focus of Community Foundations is two-pronged, says LaValley. The first is to mentor other community groups. The second is to help donors set up accounts for charitable giving.

The two accounts which the government of Alberta will match funds to are the Better Together COVID-19 Response Fund and Community Kitchen and Food Bank Fund.

Local organizations can access the funds by filling out a brief online survey.

“It’s very quick,” says LaValley. CFNA made it short and easy, because organizations are busy responding to the pandemic and don’t have time to fill out a onerous application.

CFNA has been in Grande Prairie since 1996. In 2013, it changed its focus to provide regional, not just Grande Prairie support.

The Rotary Club of Slave Lake Library has an account through Community Foundations to help with operational funding. Community Foundations also helped out in the area after the 2011 Slave Lake fire.

Community Foundations of Northwestern Alberta is “ready to adapt,” LaValley says. “To help keep our community strong during this pandemic.”

LaValley encourages people to “give what they can,” before the May 31 deadline.

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