Collaboration is Key

Since 2006, The Stollery Charitable Foundation (SCF) has supported our agency with over $700,000 through their endowed private family foundation founded by Robert and Shirley Stollery.

In 2011, a grant provided by the foundation helped ease the various costs incurred during the amalgamation of Edmonton’s former Boys & Girls Clubs with the former Big Brothers Big Sisters agency of Edmonton. In addition, SCF supported our creation of targeted programming within our club sites to alleviate childhood obesity and teach children and youth more about healthy living. Most recently in 2014, through the generous support of SCF, we have also been able to add two much-needed additional supervisory roles to meet the ever-growing number of children and families.

SCF works intentionally with other funders, like the Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF), to help build on what can be offered to charities but also to reduce duplicating resources. The ECF is a large charitable organization that helps manage donations and endowment funds for others to ensure many charitable organizations receive funding to further their necessary projects. The similar philosophy of BGCBig’s Executive Director, Liz O’Neill, who shares ideas and resources for the betterment of more, is not lost on SCF’s Executive Director, Jeff Bryson.

“Liz is willing to share successes and failures freely with her partner agencies with the hope that they, too, can learn from them,” Bryson says, adding that she happily partners with other organizations to deliver programs and mentor new executives in the sector.

Bryson, the grandson of SCF founders Bob and Shirley Stollery, grew up with a philanthropic family and proudly continues the tradition as a third-generation family member working within the foundation. “The Stollery Charitable Foundation has a strong and long-standing relationship with both BGCBigs and its predecessors,” he says. “The organization plays a critical and expanding role in supporting vulnerable children and youth in our community through its clubs, mentoring and complementary programming.”

SCF board members review proposals from charities based in Edmonton and Kamloops, B.C. (where some foundation family members live) in the spring and fall each year to determine priority applications. Their mandate is to provide support to initiatives pertaining to health, education, social service and human rights, and have granted more than $20 million since the foundation’s inception.

“I have toured several [BGCBigs’s] clubs and both administrative facilities and I never cease to be impressed by the passion that the agency’s staff have for the work that they do and the youth that they serve,” Bryson says.

BGCBigs would not be able to serve the thousands of children, youth and families that we do without the tremendous support and partnership the Stollery Charitable Foundation has given to us over the last several years. We thank them so very much for their continued guidance and support.

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