Envision Financial’s Susan Byrom lauded the work being done for Maple Ridge children in the area of addictions and prevention. (Black Press Media files)

$10,000 grant critical to addiction outreach for Maple Ridge children

In the midst of COVID, Envision Financial secured needed money for an Alouette Addictions program

A school-based drug outreach program received an infusion of cash Friday.

On behalf of Alouette Addictions Services, a local credit union went to bat and lobbied a national organization for funding to support Maple Ridge children dealing with drug use problems of their own or those of family members.

The effort paid off, to the tune of $10,000.

Every year, Concentra Financial’s Empowering Your Community program partners with credit unions across Canada to award grants to deserving causes.

Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, applied for a grant on behalf of its long-time partners at Alouette Addictions Services, and that request was approved, said Domenic Vinci, senior director of strategic alliances at Concentra Financial.

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“Support for communities matters now more than ever,” Vinci said, announcing the grant and applauding Envision for its support of an “important community initiative, which provides free counselling for people who are affected by substance abuse.”

The funds will be used to continue the Alouette Addictions’ youth outreach program.

The preventative program offers specialized counselling support for children affected by their parents’ or other family members’ drug use. The program is designed to help children understand the effects of drug use to make healthy decisions based on knowledge.

Outreach workers also work in the community, connecting with children who may already have a drug-use problem of their own. The program enables counsellors to develop relationships with the children and their families and connect them with treatment.

“We are beyond grateful for this grant, especially during these challenging times,” said Alouette’s executive director Doug Sabourin.

“We’ve seen many examples first-hand that when children are given this important knowledge, which the program provides at an early age, they are less likely to make disastrous personal drug and alcohol decisions later in life,” he added.

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Envision Financial has provided $28,000 in grants to Alouette Addictions during the past six years, on top of support for numerous initiatives including elementary school education programs, community events, and mentorship programs.

All these touchpoints, along with the critical care of outreach Alouette Addictions provides to the community, formed the basis for the application, said Susan Byrom, Envision’s executive director of community investment.

“Preventative programming provided by Alouette Addictions is vital to breaking potential first-time use or cycles of addiction for children and families,” she said.

“When you factor in the COVID-19 crisis and the burdens of financial and operational voids, Concentra Financial’s award has arrived at just the right time and we’re proud to celebrate with them.”

In 2020, Concentra Financial granted $200,000 to community initiatives across the country.

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• If there is more to this issue, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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