Menu Menu
See how the Hamilton Community Foundation has affected your community.
 
Marker
Click on the markers to view Impact Stories.
 
 
OK
 
 
 

More Impact Stories

 
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
     

    A striking new project near the intersection of Parkdale and Barton promises to transform both a local landmark and the lives of the people who will live there. The site is currently occupied by George & Mary’s Tavern,  a long-standing fixture on Melvin Avenue in east Hamilton, but one that has fallen into disrepair. Supported…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Into every life a little rain must fall—and managing it where it goes helps both homeowners and the environment. With support from HCF’s Dougher Fund, a home visit program from Green Venture offered Dundas residents a personalized 90-minute assessment of their property and basement by a certified RAIN Home Guide. Homeowners learned three simple principles—slow…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Caring Dads is a program offered in Canada, the U.S. and Europe that has shown significant success in working with fathers at-risk of using abusive behaviour with their families. Now, the program will be offered in Hamilton for the first time, filling an urgent local need identified by agencies addressing family violence. Thanks to an…

    Read more
  •  
     

    The Hamilton Philharmonic continued its tradition of bringing classical music to new ears with a complementary invitation for families living in City Housing Hamilton to attend its Family Concert Experience. Supported by an HCF Creative Arts Fund grant, the program aims to introduce families to their local professional symphony, create a sense of belonging in…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Essential Aid, a Hamilton organization focused on nutrition for children under four, is filling a critical gap in the food bank system by stocking a wide range of infant formulas. The nutrition needs of infants are unique and many formula-fed infants can’t tolerate a change.  Traditional food banks are unable to provide a selection of…

    Read more
  •  
     

    ABACUS is HCF’s initiative to improve graduation and post-secondary access rates by focusing on students in the middle-school years.  To support the critical role of teachers in this goal, Hamilton Community Foundation launched a new small grants program – up to $500 – for Grade 6, 7 and 8 teachers to provide enrichment activities that…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A new program at the Ellen Osler Home in Dundas is helping women ease back into the community, before, during and after their release from serving a federal sentence. Supported by an HCF grant, the program provides “in-reach” staff who accompany and assist the women during stressful times such as parole board hearings, and the…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A recent Hamilton Community Foundation grant to a new partnership project called the City of Hamilton Home Improvement Project (CHHIP) is like making two grants in one. The program brings together the City’s Neighbourhood Action Strategy, CityHousing Hamilton, Threshold School of Building and the Foundation, and works toward a dual purpose:  providing job skills to…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Positive spaces, leadership training and employment preparation are giving youth in priority neighbourhoods a leg up through the HCF-supported Growing Youth Leaders project. The project is a partnership between the City of Hamilton’s recreation division and Riverdale and McQuesten neighbourhood residents and community development workers. The goal is to provide local youth with the necessary…

    Read more
  •  
     

    An HCF grant is striking a chord in support of Sinfonia Ancaster’s inaugural concert season and orchestral programming. Sinfonia Ancaster was born out of the music department program at Redeemer University and is now a part of the Ancaster Society of Performing Arts. The orchestra, consisting of 35 professional and emerging musicians, including students, performs…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A diagnosis of serious illness in the family can be devastating – and especially to children. Wellwood Resource Centre is lightening the burden for families in these situations. With support from an HCF grant, Wellwood is expanding its Kids’ Program which offers practical assistance like door-to-door transportation to its facilities where it provides meals (which…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing Inc. A loan from HCF to Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing Inc. is enabling the organization to buy property where they will build 23 affordable rental apartment units for Aboriginal families. The project is located in an area well-served by transit, schools and services including grocery shopping, government services, parks and an Aboriginal Health Access Centre….

    Read more
  •  
     

    HCF regularly supports organizations and initiatives that deal with poverty, health and the environment.  But it’s not every day that a project comes along that addresses all three at once, while also helping to unlock a lot more funding. SoBi Hamilton, the popular bike sharing program, was launched with great success in 2015, but limited…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A remarkable donation to Hamilton Community Foundation will help ensure local cats will be healthy, safe and wanted – forever. The Foundation will give an annual grant of over $65,000 in perpetuity to the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA to fund feline health and well-being, thanks to the donation of an estate from lifelong pet lover and long-time…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Program builds real-world work experience Michael Young always wanted to work as a security guard. Good Shepherd’s MarketPlace work experience program helped him get there. The MarketPlace is part of Good Shepherd’s Venture Centre, a massive repurposed car dealership in downtown Hamilton that opened as the organization’s clothing and emergency food program in 2015 and…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Canadian ICT workers are in short supply Ten Grade 6, 7 and 8 students are spending their nutrition break learning how to make a video game—and at the same time learning they could have a bright future in technology.  The club at Viscount Montgomery Elementary School is one of 17 currently offered to middle school-aged students…

    Read more
  •  
  •  
     

    When your child is in the hospital, the last thing you want to hear is you’ve lost your job because you’ve spent too much time away from work. Thanks to the medical-legal partnership started by Pro Bono Ontario (PBO) at McMaster Children’s Hospital, low-income families can get much-needed legal support when faced with such difficult…

    Read more
  •  
     

    “When women give today, one thing they want to know about is the impact they are having,” says Renate Davidson. Renate is a long-term, respected volunteer with HCF and many other organizations across Hamilton. As a founding donor to HCF’s Women 4 Change (W4C) initiative, she is struck by how women’s philanthropy “has evolved to…

    Read more
  •  
     

    The art of spoken word is an ancient tradition that continues today through Hamilton Youth Poets. Created in 2012, “HYP” provides a platform for new young voices to muse on their city through poetry, journalism and hip-hop. “HYP gives Hamilton’s youth have an opportunity to develop their creative skills and have their voices heard,” says…

    Read more
  •  
     

    The Riverdale Salad Bowl is a community solution to provide access to fresh produce and improve food security. We were proud to support the community garden in this great east Hamilton neighbourhood.

    Read more
  •  
     

    A grant from HCF is helping to put more girls on the playing field by providing sport hijabs to 20 local schools.  For Muslim girls, taking part in athletics can be challenging when wearing a traditional hijab due to the fear that it could fall off, or that the fastening pin could injure a player. …

    Read more
  •  
     

    New “one-stop” kiosks are bridging the digital divide and making information more accessible to older adults. Responding to a community need, The Dundas InfoSpot for 55+ is a web-based computer application, curating information about programs and services in an age-friendly format.  Led by the Hamilton Council on Aging, and supported by HCF, InfoSpot draws listings…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Community starts early in the McQuesten neighbourhood, and that includes cultivating its young urban farmers through Sprouts Camp. Throughout the summer,  kids from this east Hamilton community attended the camp, focused around the neighbourhood’s urban farm.   Camp days always included a long visit to the garden, a bounty harvest and a lesson or two about gardening…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Putting more foundation assets to work in the community is the goal of HCF’s Hamilton Community Investment Fund (HCIF). The fund’s latest loan is a great example. Early in 2015, HCIF provided mortgage financing to Indwell to build 47 supportive housing units on Main Street East just east of Kenilworth – on a former used…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A banner in the McQuesten neighbourhood meeting room is covered in brightly coloured drawings of veggies and fruit. There’s a market stand. Greenhouses. People. And even a cow. Bold statements like “food oasis,” “80% production,” “school trips” and “from observer to farmer” punctuate the pictures. This is the neighbourhood’s vision for the McQuesten urban farm—a…

    Read more
  •  
     

    The high school prom is a cherished tradition. It’s a celebratory experience where students say farewell to high school and hello to the next phase of life. But prom has not always been a welcoming, positive experience for every student. In the past, many Hamilton students who identified as LGBTQI often missed out on that…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Hamilton is getting its act together with a program to support its emerging theatre-makers. ALERT, which stands for Artistic Leadership and Entrepreneurial Training, is a no-cost educational initiative of The Hamilton Fringe Festival. The focus is on helping performing artists aged 19 to 30 develop their artistic and production skills.  “We want to give a…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Back to School Moms has a simple formula: onsite childcare plus certified teachers plus supportive peers equals more women who successfully sit their high school equivalency exam. The goal is to increase the women’s financial independence and, as a result, the quality of life for their children. Newcomer moms aged 19 years and older can…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Hamilton’s older urban neighbourhoods have one defining feature: alleyways. Ward 3 alone represents 37 per cent of all alleyways in Hamilton, the largest percentage of alleyways in any ward. While they offer easy access to homes and businesses, alleyways have grown to be the site for illegal dumping, overgrown vegetation and drainage problems. Green Venture…

    Read more
  •  
     

    From the iconic Canadian National Railway tracks to the fast-growing development of the new James North GO station, you will find the past and present converging in north Hamilton. Central Neighbourhood Association (CNA) wants to shed light on the rich history and celebrate the future of the neighbourhood – one story at a time. This…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Some 80 at-risk youth are singing a new tune, thanks to a Liberty for Youth program. With the help of a karaoke music studio, leadership curriculum and volunteer mentors from Hamilton Police Services, the program helps participants identify their strengths, connect with caring adults and make constructive choices. Supported by an HCF grant, karaoke in…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Community health brokers build a bridge to wellness in Crown Point A successful cancer screening program called CASTLE (Creating Access to Screening and Training in the Living Environment) is expanding to help residents in the Crown Point neighbourhood take important steps to better overall health. Focus groups in this east Hamilton community revealed the need…

    Read more
  •  
     

    For older adults, taking the bus spells freedom – no matter what language they speak. Social isolation can affect all seniors but those from ethno-culturally diverse communities are at greater risk.  A grant from HCF is helping the Hamilton Council on Aging to expand its successful “Let’s Take the Bus” workshop designed to increase these…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Beyond food security, Neighbour 2 Neighbour Centre knows that community gardens and food programming offer opportunities to learn the value of local food and build relationships between communities. A grant from HCF is helping N2N to expand its programming to connect teens and seniors through food, creating an intergenerational food garden and cooking programming.  Working…

    Read more
  •  
     

    What happens when Beethoven meets Thomas Edison? The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board’s answer to this is Learning Through the Arts (LTTA), a series of innovative programs that combine core curriculum with art-based teaching methods to create fun learning experiences that encourage students’ creativity and self-expression in the learning process. The HWDSB placed specially-trained Arts…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A physician’s prescription for learning invites parents to share the gift of literacy with their kids There isn’t a pill to improve lit­eracy. But a new program is offer­ing a prescription that’s getting families off to a great start. Read to Your Baby provides family physicians with the tools to start important conversations with parents…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Cutting treatment delays for abused children  It’s hard to accept that children as young as three are being sexually abused. But that is a reality the Community Child Abuse Council faces squarely every day. They provide proven treatment, education, and prevention programs to Hamilton’s abused children.  Timely treatment is transformative for children who suffer sexual…

    Read more
  •  
     

    The Dougher Community Fund grew from a quiet appreciation of life in Dundas Grants from the fund are dedicated to enabling others to have the same opportunity, now and forever. The donor had a single goal: to ensure future residents would enjoy the community’s many assets as she and her family had. It only made…

    Read more
  •  
     

    It’s hard for older adults in Flamborough to get to senior-focused exercise classes. That’s why a grant from HCF is helping Flamborough Information and Community Services to expand the Wheel of Fitness, an educational exercise program that helps seniors from isolated rural communities get moving. There is a definite need. A key recommendation in the…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Monarch butterfly numbers are in freefall. A January 2014 count by the World Wildlife Fund shows North America’s population has hit an all-time low – and may disappear completely. That’s not news to the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club. But it does make its latest project, with partner Environment Hamilton, all the more important. Supported by an…

    Read more
  •  
     

    HCF is helping more families put money in the bank for higher education through a program to increase access to the Canada Learning Bond Studies show that youth who have even modest education savings are 50 percent more likely to go on to post-secondary schooling than those who have none.  Targeted directly at low-income families,…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Adolescence is hard enough – now consider the additional impact of a cancer diagnosis on a teen or on a young adult anxious to get on with life.  A grant from HCF is supporting Wellwood Resource Centre to help this vulnerable group. The Canadian Cancer Society reports that adolescents and young adults have unique needs…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A bustling new addition to Hamilton’s food landscape represents two milestones:  the city’s first co-op grocery store and the latest loan from the Hamilton Community Investment Fund (HCIF). Like all co-ops The Mustard Seed, located just west of Locke Street on York Boulevard, is member-owned, though you don’t have to be a member to shop…

    Read more
  •  
     

    It was the perfect example of connecting people, ideas and resources when Hamilton Community Foundation helped launch a program that trained out-of-work people in construction and gave downtown residents small exterior property renovations they could not otherwise afford. Last spring, HCF grants manager Sharon Charters learned about the need for a home renovation loans program…

    Read more
  •  
     

    The Foundation’s ability to connect local needs with national resources means kids will be on the ice this winter at Eastwood Arena. Skate the Dream is a local program that helps remove barriers preventing Hamilton children from learning to skate and to play hockey.  This season, the program will be fully funded by a grant…

    Read more
  •  
     

    A Hamilton Community Foundation grant is helping to support Expansion 2013 at the Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre (ASAC), a project that will enable the centre offer its more than 30 arts, music and health programs and social opportunities to a burgeoning seniors population.  Established in 1974, the Centre has undergone a number of expansions. Today,…

    Read more
  •  
     

    Terry Yates is one of HCF’s longest-serving volunteers.  In this 2014 video he discusses the importance of community philanthropy and his view of HCF’s strengths.

    Read more
  •  
     

    A striking gallery at the corner of James St. North and Cannon Street West represents two landmarks:  a new home for Hamilton Artists Inc. supported by the first investment from HCF’s new community investment fund. “It’s a stunning transformation at one of Hamilton’s most visible corners,” says Terry Cooke, HCF’s President & CEO.   “We are absolutely…

    Read more
 
See all Impact Stories
 
 

Blog

 
 
 

ABACUS is a research-based initiative at HCF that helps kids to imagine and achieve a better future through high-school graduation and going to post-secondary. It focuses on the middle school years and addresses factors that affect students’ likelihood of continuing their education.
This summer, HCF Donor Services Advisor Celeste Licorish got the chance to attend a reception for Boys & Girls Club Hamilton celebrating the successes of students in their ABACUS-funded program. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.

How did this reception make ABACUS really come alive for you?

The energy was amazing. It’s one thing to hear about ABACUS here at HCF and read about what ABACUS is doing for kids in Hamilton – but to actually be in a space where the program has been operating was incredibly moving. Boys & Girls Club of Hamilton started off by thanking the Foundation for allowing this to happen. BGC is very committed to improving the lives of kids anyway so the alignment of ABACUS with what they’re trying to do is magical. But the really special stuff was when the kids got up and started to talk about their experiences with the program.

What kinds of things were the kids saying?

They talked about how, before the program, they used to act out and do things like toss over garbage cans, flip off the instructors, and were disruptive and unengaged. But the ABACUS program involved things like going to McMaster to learn about science, taking field trips, and patient and engaged co-ordinators attuned to what the kids would find interesting – this really made the difference. Some of these kids were now going into Grade 9, talking about how for the first time they actually care about science and are looking forward to doing better things. They’re also talking about how their instructors and coaches are more like brothers and sisters, and friends, not people they have to reel against.
One young girl stood up and she said that if this had been two years ago, there’s no way she’d even be standing in front of a group to talk about anything! So the confidence that she now had in herself was huge compared to when she started.

To think about HCF being a part of the transition in these kids’ lives at a very fragile and vulnerable time is so rewarding. The kids immediately acknowledged that they had other influences that were not positive and that they could have easily gone in that direction. But because they had this program and people that were invested in them, they were now seeing themselves and their futures in new and more positive ways.

What was your main takeaway from the event?

I sat there at the beginning of this event, thinking it would be a nice celebration for ABACUS. But by the end what it did was bring the whole thing to life in a way that blew me away and it showed me how we are actually changing kids’ lives. It doesn’t take inordinate amounts of time for kids to get from one place to another. Most importantly, it takes an environment that is supportive and a belief in the potential of these kids. And of course, it’s our amazing donors that make it all possible in the first place. It’s wonderful to see that everybody involved in ABACUS is invested so deeply.

 
See all Posts

Alexandra Marcaccio has worked in Philanthropic Services as a summer intern for the past two years at Hamilton Community Foundation. For the past two summers, I have had the honour and privilege of working as an intern with the Philanthropic Services department at HCF. As my time here comes to a close, I can’t help…

Read more
 
 
 

On June 9, 1846 the provincial statute “An Act to alter and amend the Act incorporating the town of Hamilton, and to erect the same into a city” was passed and with it this city was born. Over the years Hamilton has been known as the Steel City, The Hammer, a City of Waterfalls and…

Read more
 
 
 

At Hamilton Community Foundation we are in the privileged position of being able to see the positive impact Hamiltonians make in their city through their time, talents and resources every single day. Whether one chooses to support Hamilton Community Foundation or one of the other 85,000 registered charities in Canada there is no doubt that…

Read more