2019 Kindred Charitable Fund Grant Recipients

We’re pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Kindred Charitable Fund grants. Each year, projects are selected from many submissions that further our purpose to inspire peaceful, just, and prosperous communities. In 2019, Kindred will be disbursing $67,000 in grants. This amount includes: a $10,000 focus grant; $64,500 in regular grants; and $2,500 in grants as part of a 2018-2019 multi-year commitment.

Each year we award a Focus Grant of $10,000. This year’s recipient, focusing on the Prosperous theme, is Aurora House. This social agency aims to provide community-based housing and support services to empower victims of human trafficking and help these women, and their children, thrive in society.

Aurora House Expand/Collapse

$10,000 focus grant
Project – Aurora House

Aurora House aims to provide transitional housing and support services that empower victims of human trafficking and help these women, and their children, thrive in society.

Aurora House provides transitional housing for up to seven people. The housing and support services give clients the opportunity to begin to heal from their ordeal and transition towards independent living. For up to one year, residents are provided with safe, community-oriented accommodations. The renovated house is located in a quiet, stable, and friendly community with great access to transit, parks, stores, medical facilities, and a hospital.

Support services and counseling are provided by Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto with qualified staff who operate an holistic support program that includes: integrated case management, in-depth, long-term trauma counselling, immigration support, ethno-cultural services, language training, vocation and education resource services, and risk assessments. The staff also coordinates access to health services, legal assistance, and basic needs.

In addition, Aurora House has a live-in housing support coordinator who manages day-to-day needs in the house and provides basic support to clients.

Building Bridges Erie Shores Expand/Collapse

$7,000 grant
Project –Phase 2: Transition Facility

The Bridge Leamington Youth Resource Centre (The Bridge) is an organization that aims to service young people aged 14 to 24. The organization was created to ‘bridge the gap’ between youth services and pro-actively facilitate connections to providers to help young people navigate the existing support system.

This gap was identified by a collective group of local agencies that recognized the need to better serve youth in the Leamington and greater area. This collective also recognized a need to address youth housing with an early intervention approach that aims to break the cycle of youth homelessness. The Bridge is now moving forward with Phase 2 of its project to build a 10-unit transition-support facility. This multi-purpose residence will provide one-on-one support for young people, helping them move towards independent living.

Mennonite Central Committee Ontario (MCCO) Expand/Collapse

$5,000 grant
Project – Peace by Piece: An MCC Podcast

The Peace by Piece podcast will reveal the big picture of MCC's work with "small picture" stories from local programs.

Studies have shown that storytelling is the single most powerful tool in engaging community. To that end, MCC would like to create a podcast as a new way to explore previously untold stories about MCC’s work right here in Ontario, and to add global context. These stories include MCC’s work to foster community inclusion for people who experience homelessness and incarceration; supporting First Nations in water, education, food, and housing security; and providing welcome and settlement supports for refugees and newcomers.

The Gathering Food Centre O/A Church Out Serving Expand/Collapse

$5,000 grant
Project – Riversyde 83


The new commercially equipped kitchen facility at Riversyde 83 will enable Church Out Serving to expand its food-related services. This includes the Emergency Meal Program and Community Dinners, which currently operate out of borrowed facilities. Food skills training, meals-to-go, culinary classes, and pay-it-forward programs will also be launched, improving the accessibility and affordability of local fresh produce to all residents, regardless of age, mobility, income, or other factors.

MennoHomes, Inc Expand/Collapse

$5,000 grant
Project – MennoHomes Affordable Housing Capital Campaign Development

MennoHomes is about to embark on its largest capital fundraising campaign ever, with a goal to raise approximately $5.5 million. To reach its goal, MennoHomes plans to create a Donor Information Package to effectively communicate the case for support. MennoHomes plans to create promotional and informational material that appeals to both its existing constituency and prospective donors beyond the historical Mennonite community.

Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Services (MCRS) Expand/Collapse

$5,000 grant
Project – It's Time for Change

For more than 30 years, MCRS has been the "go to" organization for refugee claimant support in the region. MCRS gives newcomers hope that their lives matter and that they have something of value to contribute. Once they are more established, many of these people reach out, in turn, to newly arrived families and offered them help and hope.

Last summer, MCRS reviewed its mission, vision, and values, as well as its key challenges and determined that it was time to begin a rebranding and renaming journey. MCRS’ goals are to clarify its presence, better proclaim its purpose, and set the stage for expanding its donor base. MCRS also wants to better communicate the refugee experience so that Canadians see the positive outcomes and the impact on our country.

Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) Expand/Collapse

$5,000 grant
Project – Restorative Region

The Restorative Region project will build more peaceful relationships and communities as it provides a real solution to a deeply embedded social problem. From a young age, we teach people to appeal to a higher authority when resolving conflict. Rarely, if ever, are we taught to appeal to each other in times of conflict as a way to repair the broken relationship. The Restorative Region project promotes peace by providing people with the skills and tools necessary to engage in relationship building that transforms the way we manage conflict in their lives.

House of Friendship (HoF) Expand/Collapse

$4,500 grant
Project – Community Food Capacity

HoF supports families and individuals with low incomes, who are feeling the impact of hunger and isolation, by offering programs and services such as food distribution, after-school programming, language circles, and much more. In recent years and in partnership with the region’s Food Assistance Network (coordinated by the Food Bank of Waterloo Region), HoF has improved its programs’ food quality and increased the amount of fresh, healthy, whole foods available. The potential impact of this project is to improve our physical capacity to accept, store, cook, and process fresh, healthy foods for our community.

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp Expand/Collapse

$3,000 grant
Project – Newcomer Family Holiday

Silver Lake Mennonite Camp and MCCO are partnering to bring a “Newcomer Family Holiday” to families that are new to Canada. The inaugural holiday will run from July 19 to 21, 2019 with approximately 60 participants.

It can be challenging when starting out on a new path in Canada to get any kind of break.  Silver Lake and MCCO staff are committed to providing the support needed for newcomer families to have a memory-making weekend at Silver Lake where they can take a deep breath and rejuvenate. The Kindred Charitable Fund grant will cover the cost of feeding these families over the weekend.

Conrad Grebel University College – Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Expand/Collapse

$2,500 grant
Project – Canada's Forced Migration Balance Sheet


The “Canada’s Forced Migration Balance Sheet” workshop project will explore the basis for just and principled engagement with a troubling paradox: on the one hand, Canada has a reputation for welcoming refugees and pioneering successful resettlement strategies, yet on the other hand, Canada is a contributor to the causes of displacement. In fact, welcoming newcomers can mask the nation’s complicity in weapons supply, in mining and other industrial projects that cause displacement, and in activities that contribute to climate change.

Foundation for Education Perth Huron Expand/Collapse

$2,500 grant
Project – Perth Huron Family English School Arts Experience


Through the Foundation’s work in the school system, staff encounter many children with natural skills in art and music. Oftentimes, however, parents aren’t able to foster these interests by enrolling children in private lessons. There are a variety of socioeconomic reasons, one of which is that the families are often recent arrivals in Ontario who are focused on securing the necessities of life. Through this grant, we envision that children would be able to access art or music lessons with local artists, while parents are attending evening ESL classes.

Wellington County Learning Centre Expand/Collapse

$2,500 grant
Project – Circles: Helping lift families out of poverty in rural Wellington County


The Circles program is a high-impact, 18-month voluntary strategy designed to help lift people out of poverty.

In rural Wellington County (Centre Wellington, Mapleton, Minto, North Wellington) 8% to 19% of families live in low income households, food bank usage has increased 37%, and 15% to 35% do not have a high school diploma. Circles is an intervention to reduce income inequities with a vision of working together to end poverty and build a community where all people have sufficient resources, relationships, and meaning in their lives to prosper.

Sanctuary Homes of Elgin/St Thomas Expand/Collapse

$2,500 grant
Project – Sanctuary Homes

Sanctuary Homes of Elgin/St Thomas seeks to provide healthy and affordable homes for people leaving transitional housing, within reach of a supportive community that nurtures healthy relationships, encourages restoration of the discouraged, and builds understanding between people in need and a community of faith.

This year’s Charitable Fund grant will continue to support safe and affordable housing for single adults or families who are dealing with poverty and living in transitional housing or unsafe and unhealthy housing.

Matthew House Refugee Services (Ottawa) Inc. Expand/Collapse

$2,500 grant
Project – Increasing the stability of Matthew House Ottawa furniture bank pick-up and delivery


Matthew House Ottawa is a volunteer-based organization. The Furniture Bank’s purpose is to help low-income and marginalized families who do not have furniture, linens, or dishes. The goal is to help these individuals and families establish functional, welcoming, and dignified homes.

The Kindred Charitable Fund grant will be used to increase the wage of part-time movers. These positions are essential to the Furniture Bank’s operations and have become increasingly difficult to fill.

Emmanuel Bible College Expand/Collapse

$2,500 grant
Project – Second Chances

We believe that a just society is one that is prepared to give a second chance to those who are committed to turning their life around and recover from a life of substance abuse and self-destructive behaviours. Emmanuel partners with Teen Challenge to offer successful graduates of their program scholarships that cover half of their tuition. These students also receive professional counselling and social supports that help them integrate into dorm life and community living.

Mennonite World Conference Expand/Collapse

$2,500 Existing multi-year commitment
Project – Global Anabaptist Peace Network

Mennonite World Conference is called to be a communion (Koinonia) of Anabaptist-related churches linked to one another in a worldwide community of faith for fellowship, worship, service, and witness.

Their multi-year commitment from the Kindred Charitable Fund is being used as seed funding to develop a peace network.

Applications will be accepted for the 2020 program in September of 2019.


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