Community Foundation

Fort St. James works on getting its own community foundation

The Fort St. James Community Foundation Society is getting going, and is trying to raise their first $25,000.

The group got started about two years ago, and came together to try and create a trust for the community, where all donations given would be invested and then the interest would go back into the community.

Many other communities already have this type of fund in place, and the Fort group decided they would like to see one here. The Quesnel Foundation has raised one million dollars since it began 10 years ago.

The local foundation has seven on their board so far, and has to date raised $6,300   in donations. The goal is to reach $25,000 before December 31. Once they reach the $25,000 mark, the group can then apply to Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) for matching funds, which would create a $50,000 start for the foundation.

Once the interest on the donations begins coming back, anyone in the community will be able to apply for a grant from the foundation.

The group said it will provide grant funding for any projects “which generally contribute to the well-being of residents.” The long list includes projects related to: health care, education, amateur sport and community recreation, arts and cultural activities, programs for the needy and for the alleviation of human suffering and poverty, and preservation of lands or buildings of historical value.

All of the funding decisions would be made locally. The group’s latest funding drive includes offering an option of donations in lieu of a gift for the person who has everything on your Christmas list, because the money would be matched by NDIT, doubling a person’s gift amount.

The foundation is area-wide, including the District of Fort St. James and the entire Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako Area C which includes Manson Creek, Germansen Landing, Takla Landing, Tache, Binche, Nak’azdli and Yekooche.

For more information on what the foundation does or to get involved, contact Joyce Helweg at 996-7293 or send mail to Box 17, Fort St. James.