With these grants, we empower our non-profit partners to build a vibrant and healthy community and deliver programs and services that benefit all central Albertans.


We are proud to have partnered with Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada to deliver the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) in Central Alberta.

Launched on May 19, 2020, we’ve invested an additional $363,720.00 through the ECSF towards local charities and qualified donees supporting populations experiencing heightened vulnerability during this crisis. We are pleased to announce the ECSF has supported projects including:

$75,000 to the Red Deer Native Friendship Society for their project: Mental Health & Wellness – taking care of our spirits

$24,247 to The Lending Cupboard for preparations to reopen to the public

$20,960 to Habitat for Humanity Red Deer Region for Mortgage Relief for Habitat Families


$10,000 to Book Clubs for Inmates to support book clubs in federal prisons

$1,500 to Crohn’s & Colitis Canada for Community Outreach and Support

$21,530 to Starlight Children’s Foundation for Play from home packs


$22,708 to Mountain Rose Women’s Shelter Supporting families fleeing violence during COVID19 and beyond

$29,600 to Red Deer College for Subsidized Outdoor Summer Sports Camps for Youth

$17,695 to CA Sexual Assault Support Centre for Virtual Sexual Violence Counselling Services

$35,027 to Stettler Community Support Centre for Crisis Aid Program

$53,200 to Bethany Care Foundation for Safe outdoor visits for Residents and Families


$40,000 to the Mustard Seed for Satellite Food Bank program

$11,800 to Olds & District Hospice Society for NavCARE – Navigating, Connecting, Accessing, Resourcing, Engaging

Our community foundation has granted the full funding available to our community through the ECSF. We are unfortunately no longer accepting applications. Since the start of the pandemic, charities and non-profit organizations have been leading the charge to assist those who need it most in the fight against COVID-19.

We invite you to explore opportunities with the other ECSF funding intermediaries in your community.



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.


Catholic Social Services was granted $7200.00 from the Red Deer & District Community Foundation’s Smart and Caring Communities Fund. This money went towards CSS being able to equip four of their group homes for adults with automated external defibrillator’s (AED’s). The inhabitants of these group homes have various disabilities, medical conditions or other health issues that place them more at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. With the placement of these devices, the staff who are already trained in Emergency First Aid/CPR, were also trained in how to properly and effectively use the AED in the event of a cardiac arrest.

The mission of the Olds & District Hospice Society is to provide quality, compassionate care in a home-like setting for those facing death by offering physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and educational support to individuals, their families and community at the end of life and during bereavement.

When cure is no longer an option, the Olds &District Hospice Society provides special care in a comfortable home-like setting where life can be respected and celebrated up to death. They offer a place where friends and family are supported.

They are a volunteer based organization and work closely with local agencies such as Home Care, AHS, local churches and service groups. Clients are encouraged to have input in their care and their end of life journey.

In the Fall of 2018, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation was able to grant the Olds & District Hospice Society $6000.00 through our Smart & Caring Community Fund, that went towards the operational expenses of two hospice suites. These suites are offered to their clients free of charge.

The community has been enriched with a caring and cared for social network through the Olds and District Hospice Society that remains connected by responding with love, support and caring together. Individuals who need this service, are enabled to stay in the community where they are a valued resource.

To date, the Olds & District Hospice Society has supported 240 families, almost 40 of which utilized the suites.

On January 22, 2019, over 100 students and community members discussed mental health portrayals in the media and the impact of stigma, then watched three short films from the Art with Impact library. Each of these short films were followed by small and large group discussions. Themes that arose out of these discussions included: the impact of cultural stigmas on young people reaching out for help, how strong audio and visual elements of a short film can help portray the experience of anxiety, as well as some reasons why people may not seek support for their mental illness.

Attendees also discussed actions they could take after watching and engaging with films, such as to be mindful of language and speech awareness that mental health is okay to talk about. Attendees then heard from two Red Deer College students who spoke about their own experiences with a mental illness, followed by a chemistry professor at RDC who shared her journey about navigating her mental health a post secondary and advocating for student health. They also heard from an on-campus counselor as well as someone from the Suicide Information and Education Services.

Through this project, the attendees were given increased awareness of the complexities of mental illness and were shown the importance of reducing internalized stigmas related to mental health.

In the Fall of 2018, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation was able to grant $2500.00 from our Smart & Caring Community Fund towards this worthwhile project.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity Red Deer was founded in 1994 and has since built 34 homes in the region. With the help of dedicated donors and volunteers, they continue to increase this number each year. Habitat for Humanity Red Deer Region Society is part of an international, non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping Central Alberta families build better lives through affordable homeownership. They build homes in partnership with qualifying low-income, working families through a no-down-payment, interest-free mortgage program.

An important part of the Habitat organization is the ReStore, which recycles and sells quality building materials at a fraction of the regular retail price. Every item in the ReStore is donated and the net proceeds go towards Habitat Red Deer’s affordable homeownership program and to sustaining their operations.

In the Fall of 2018, the Habitat for Humanity Red Deer Region Society received $8000.00 from the Smart and Caring Community Fund towards implementing a Point of Sale system to enable them to price and track inventory, improve sales data accuracy and transparency, mitigate loss prevention, improve donor reporting and receiving, and ensure continuity of pricing per department.

Habitat also received $3000.00 from the Sylvan Lake Community Endowment Fund towards their Team Build program which encourages groups of volunteers to come out and work at a Habitat Build site for a day. Volunteers committed to a full day assisting with construction tasks at a build site, while learning valuable skills, fostering strong teamwork and a sense of community. This program is the cornerstone of the Habitat home building approach, using people and resources from local communities to help their partner families in the building of their future homes.

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation is a proud partner of such a great organization that contributes to the life and well being of our Central Alberta communities.


Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre is an organization whose mission is to provide hope to children with special needs, the families who love them, and the communities that care for them. Aspire’s core principle, as set by their founding families over 30 years ago, states that “every child should have access to the services he/she requires to reach his/her full potential”.

Aspire offers evidence based diagnostic, assessment and early intervention programs for children with special needs, that are inclusive of family. Assessments include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cognitive, Behavior, Speech Language, Occupational and or Physical Therapy. Families are a crucial part of the team at Aspire, so they involve them in every step of the development of their child’s individualized plan.

In the Fall of 2018, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation was able to grant Aspire $2000.00 from their Smart & Caring Community Fund, towards the Fee Assistance for Families Program. This program provided financial assistance for families with children who are attending Aspire’s specialized EASE (Early Access to Supportive Education) Preschool Program, the TAC (Trans disciplinary Assessment and Consultation) Program and/or one of the Diagnostic Clinics which are two half-day sessions with a therapy team of Psychologist, Occupational Therapist and speech Language Pathologist.

Through this program, Aspire was able to help 48 families who have children with special needs access necessary diagnostic assessment and intervention services. Parents of children with special needs face no financial barrier when they attend an Aspire program or service. Parents we able to obtain the diagnosis, supports, and subsequent education needed for future success for their children with special needs.


The Red Deer Hospice Society (RDHS) provides residential physical, social, emotional and spiritual care in a community based, home-like setting for individuals who are dying and for their loved ones. They provide comfort care for their residents, and support, education and guidance for their family members of all ages. They do not charge a resident or their family members for any of their care while they’re in the house, or for follow up after their loved one has died. Care is not denied for any reason to a resident who meets their admission criteria.

The Red Deer Hospice Society recognized that dying with dignity and respect is a right of all humans. Individuals facing end of life should have a choice as t the type of care they receive. RDHS recognizes that families are divers and journey with the palliative individual. It is their intent to support not only the palliative client, but their families as well. Their goal is to ensure a resident dies with dignity, enhancing the end of life quality of life. They encourage residents to remain as active in their decision making until the end.

In the Fall of 2018, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation was able to grant $7000.00 from the Smart and Caring Communities Fund towards and upgrade of their call bell system.  This new system provides a method of communication for their palliative residents with related access to their clinical care team.