The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul, in Kingston, Ontario have left a wonderful legacy for both children and seniors in the Kingston civic community.  This article was written by Tina Bailey, Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Kingston and Area.  

“It was with both gratitude and excitement, shared by everyone present, that Community Foundation for Kingston & Area (CFKA) board members Rob Wood (Chair) and Gayle Barr (Past Chair) met with several Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul at Providence Motherhouse to receive their change-making $5 million gift to the community.

These funds will be used to help the Kingston community respond to some of the greatest needs among our youngest and oldest citizens.

The Sisters’ challenge to the Foundation was to use these funds to stimulate transformative, sustainable, systems-level change in two identified areas of need:  to prevent and mitigate the lifelong impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and to reduce the social isolation and loneliness felt by seniors – both significantly amplified by the experience of COVID-19.

Wanting to achieve immediate and maximum impact from their gift, the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul Community Impact Fund is intended to be fully expended on high-impact community initiatives and programs over the next five to ten years.

“As we look to the future, the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area seemed like a wonderful vehicle through which to leave a legacy gift to continue our Mission with youth and seniors,” shared Sister Sandra Shannon, General Superior of the Sisters of Providence.

 “We are honored, humbled, and thrilled that the Sisters have entrusted us with this gift to drive meaningful change in our community,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Tina Bailey.

Work is well underway to address ACEs.  Early results from the funding include the delivery of ‘trauma informed training’ to hundreds of people in the Kingston area. The training has been so well received, that they are working on delivering the training widely across the community. To make this possible, over 40 individuals from a wide range of organizations – from schools to service agencies to city staff – have now been trained as facilitators to deliver this training to staff within their organizations and the community at large.  

The work to address seniors’ isolation and loneliness is just getting started. CFKA looks forward to sharing with you, the impacts of this gift over the coming months and years.”

What a wonderful and lasting gift the Sisters have shared with the community of Kingston which will hopefully bring long lasting benefit to both children and seniors, two ministries in which the Sisters were involved in for many years.  In the photo Sr. Sandra Shannon stands in the middle between Rob Wood and Gayle Barr, board members of CFKA.

Barbara McMullen, CDP


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