(Red Deer, AB) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation announced on Friday they are committing a minimum of $50,000.00 towards immediate support for front line charities in Central Alberta.

“Our charitable sector is being presented with obstacles they could never have imagined,” Erin Peden, Executive Director said. “As a Community Foundation, we pledge to provide supports wherever possible.”

Earlier this week the Foundation suspended their spring grants in anticipation of greater immediate needs. At present $50,000 has been committed in response to the COVID crisis; however Peden says the Foundation will address needs as they are presented above and beyond the initial commitment.

“In the meantime, we ask our friends, colleagues and donors to consider contributing to the Red Deer & District Community Foundation COVID Response Fund to help us effectively provide supports where it is needed,” Peden said. “We will be looking at all areas of need so by donating to the fund, you are putting your support exactly where it is needed.”

According to Peden the Red Deer & District Community Foundation will be working collaboratively with other community funders including the United Way and FCSS to ensure the community as a whole is well supported.

“Never has there ever been a greater need for collaboration,” Peden said. “We will be communicating openly and regularly with our colleagues to ensure we are creating a blanket of support for Central Alberta.”

Those wishing to donate to the COVID-19 Response Fund can do so online at www.RDDCF.ca.

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation has granted over $11.5 million dollars to local charities in the last 30 years and remains dedicated to strengthen the quality of life in Central Alberta.


The Board of Trustees of the Chinook’s Edge School Division was presented with a cheque for $10,000.00 on March 11, 2020 as the recipients of this year’s Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation grant.
The money will be used for a program that provides educators with support and training in identifying high risk or self harming behaviours in students in digital platforms, specifically social media.
Rick More, co-founder of the Smiles Thru Lindsey initiative shared the story of his daughter Lindsey, and her vision of creating a foundation that would provide children, teens and young adults who are navigating the difficult road of mental illness with the emotional and financial supports required to get the proper help.
“We [the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation] are committed to putting mental health initiatives at the forefront of education in Central Alberta,” More said. “Educators have a profound opportunity to shape the course of a child’s life and this program will provide teachers with tools and strategies to support students who need an outstretched hand.”
Recognizing the success of early intervention through the school system over the last three years, the More family, through Smiles Thru Lindsey, has funded a Mental Health First Aid program for the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division, as well as a literacy initiative which builds resilience and confidence in youth at the Red Deer Public School District.
“Every life that is saved through the initiatives supported by Smiles Thru Lindsey is because of Lindsey,” her father Rick said. “As her voice, we are proud to support Chinook’s Edge School Division as we work towards breaking stigma and advocating for those who need us.”
About Smiles Thru Lindsey:
Lindsey More had a contagious laugh, charming and outgoing personality and warm smile. She also hid something one in five Canadians battle with any given day: mental illness. In September 2015, Lindsey died by suicide. Since then, the More family has committed to helping others in Lindsey’s name through the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation.

In Spring of 2018, Bethany Care Foundation received a $1500 grant through the Red Deer & District Community Foundation’s Smart and Caring Communities Fund. This grant was used to help them purchase sensory therapy materials which has allowed them to rejuvenate their sensory therapy programming. These sensory materials had several objectives:

a. To provide seniors and adults with disabilities more way to communicate with their friends, family members and caregivers;

b. To proved the with opportunities to feel in control and successful;

c. To provide them with more diverse opportunities for social interaction;

d. To provide an opportunity to foster understanding, empathy, and friendship between residents in care and individuals outside of the care community; and

e. To provide more opportunities for community engagement between Bethany Collegeside and the greater Red Deer Community.


The success of the Sensory Therapy program at Bethany Collegeside has now encouraged other Bethany Care locations to adopt the same therapies. Since beginning this in other locations, residents and therapists have found it engaging and beneficial in increasing movement, engagements and a sense of meaningful activity.