The Maple Ridge Community Foundation is also hosting its Community Chest online fundraising campaign, which ends Sunday, Oct. 15.

Maple Ridge Community Foundation grant application deadline looms.

Grant window closes on Friday, Oct. 13

Time is running out to help fill the the Maple Ridge Community Foundation’s Community Chest program.

The Community Chest is a partnership between the Maple Ridge Community Foundation and the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Katzie Community Network and are the funds used to help the families in need.

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to donate to the Community Chest and then posing a challenge to

family, friends, and colleagues to do the same. Businesses and individuals donors are then being encouraged to post their fundraising events at mrcf.ca and challengers are invited to use the hastag #MRCommunityChest when posting on their social media channels.

Since November 2016, the foundation has contributed to 11 families who were faced with financial challenges.

This Thanksgiving, Maple Ridge resident Andy and Karin Cleven accept the challenge and donated $10,000.

“Each of us has needed support in life and many of us have had people that have given us the support we need to get over that insurmountable hurdle. The Community Chest is one way to provide a leg up to get people up over the fence,” said Andy Cleven. “We want to challenge our friends and neighbours, local businesses and professionals, service clubs and the community at large to support this program. As communities grow, we can become disconnected and do not know how to help. This is one way.”

The Community Chest challenge wraps up on Sunday, Oct 15 and is looking at individual and business donations online. Participants are then being asked to pose a challenge to friends and local businesses on their social networks. Anyone making a donation is encouraged to use the hashtag #MRCommunityChest.

Ernie Daykin, board member of the MRCF, said the online program is not just about soliciting donations, but to raise awareness for those in need in the community.

“Life happens. Emergencies happen. What may seem like an insignificant amount of money to some can mean the world to those who’ve fallen on hard times,” said Daykin. “It’s about giving at home, neighbours helping neighbours.”

Daykin said he’s hoping the business community and individuals will take up the challenge, making either a one-time gift, or considering donations through monthly deductions from their pay cheque.

“We can raise money today but we need to remember the community will have the same needs year-after-year. We’re looking to grow the chest in perpetuity,” he said.

Between May of 2016 to January 2017, 32 per cent of the approved requests to the Community Chest program have supported families with shelter needs, such as hydro payments or helping top off rent.

Another 28 per cent were for transportation needs, and 20 per cent were for household essentials like bedding or daycare fees. Medical services like temporary home care for seniors and dental fees accounted for 12 per cent and eight per cent was directed at equipment, such as eye glasses or work boots.

“A little goes goes a long way,” said Daykin.

For more information or to donate to the Community Chest program, visit the MRCF website.

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