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Community-Based Organizations Benefit from $213,000 from The Co-operators

May 26, 2009

    GUELPH, ON, May 26 /CNW/ - Today, The Co-operators announced $213,000 in
grants to support the work of 11 community-based organizations that help
disadvantaged people move toward self-reliance. Each of the organizations
provides important services designed to help marginalized people overcome
barriers and become more fully integrated into the economic and social
networks of their communities.
    "Many of the organizations operate on very tight budgets, and in these
economic times fundraising can be extremely difficult," said Kathy Bardswick,
president and CEO of The Co-operators. "Yet community-based organizations such
as these make enormous differences in the lives of those they serve, by
providing supports that would otherwise be unavailable to them."
    The funding was provided from The Co-operators Foundation, through which
the organization supports social economy enterprises and other worthy causes
in Canada. The following grants were announced today:

    Causeway Work Centre - Ottawa

    Causeway will put its $20,000 grant towards Cycle Salvation, a bicycle
refurbishment enterprise that will train and employ people with mental illness
and other disabilities, as well as people who are economically disadvantaged.

    Le Regroupement des Partenaires Francophones (d'Ottawa) - Ottawa

    Le Regroupement received a $20,000 grant for Equili-Brio, which will
create employment for people with intellectual disabilities in an integrated
environment, working alongside non-disabled employees.

    Centretown Laundry Co-op - Ottawa

    Centretown Laundry Co-op provides employment opportunities for recent
immigrants, homeless and low-income/unemployed persons, where staff members
wash and deliver laundry to clients. This year's grant of $20,000 is the final
instalment in a three-year funding arrangement.

    A-Way Express Courier - Toronto

    A-Way Express Courier is a non-profit social enterprise that provides
employment to people who have been involved with the psychiatric system. The
$20,000 grant will be used to create additional employment, and support
A-Way's business planning, marketing and equipment needs.

    Enterprising Non-Profits - Toronto

    ENP pools contributions into a single fund that matches grants of up to
$10,000 to non-profit organizations. This program will enable The Co-operators
grant of $15,000 to help even more non-profit entities advance their social
mission and strengthen communities.

    Sistering: A Woman's Place - Toronto

    Sistering enables homeless, under-housed, and low-income women to take
greater control of their lives by providing a safe, welcoming environment and
an opportunity to participate in meaningful economic activity. The $20,000
grant will assist with the Inspirations Studio, which provides low-income
female artists with the opportunity to design and produce ceramic and craft

    Common Ground Co-operative - Toronto

    CGC provides stable co-operative employment opportunities to those with
disabilities. It is the umbrella group of four food sector operations owned by
more than 55 people with intellectual disabilities. The $20,000 grant is the
final instalment of a three-year grant arrangement which has enabled the co-op
to provide job-coaching for its partners/employees and achieve business

    Welcome Inn Community Centre - Hamilton

    The $20,000 grant will assist Welcome Inn to deliver its PLAN program,
which empowers low-income individuals in Hamilton to build assets by breaking
down common barriers.

    Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre - London

    Since 1989, Pathways has assisted individuals and families in overcoming
multiple challenges to meaningful employment by providing job finding
supports, industrial skills training workshops, ESL training and connections
to more than 500 local employers. The $18,000 grant will help relieve some of
the Centre's operational and program costs.

    SEED Winnipeg - Winnipeg

    Manitoba Eco-Guiding Enterprise (MEGE) seeks to create jobs for
entrepreneurial youth and aboriginals who have a high interest in sustainable
tourism, and cultural traditions and values. The $20,000 grant will help MEGE
finalize the project and deliver a specialized training program for youth.

    JustWork Economic Initiative - Vancouver

    JustPotters, under the umbrella of JustWork Economic Initiative, helps
participants who struggle with barriers including inadequate housing, mental
and/or physical disabilities, addictions, and caring for two or more children
as a single low-income parent. The $20,000 grant will support these
individuals through a pottery enterprise.

    About The Co-operators:

    Based in Guelph, Ontario, The Co-operators is a group of Canadian
companies offering home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm
insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators Group Limited is a
100 per cent Canadian-owned co-operative with assets of more than $7 billion.
It is owned by a group of Canadian co-operatives, credit union centrals and
like-minded organizations. It is well known for its community involvement, and
is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada.
For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators,
1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707

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