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100 People Who Care- Elgin County launch event!

March 8, 2016

Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation launches ‘100 People Who Care’ initiative!


Looking for a fun, quickESCF100LogoFinal, and exciting way to make a positive impact in St. Thomas and across Elgin County? Members of the community now have the opportunity to become one of the ‘100 People Who Care’, a new donor circle being established by the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation.

“The donor circle model is not new to community foundations, and in fact much of what we do is similar nature to this initiative,” says Karen Laine, Executive Director. “What we love about the ‘100 People Who Care’ approach is that it is a great fit for the young and community-minded demographic.”

How does it work? The answer is simple: 100 People contribute $100 each. The Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation will collect the funds and provide charitable donation receipts. Subsequently, the ‘100 People Who Care’ membership will be invited to attend a special launch event on Wednesday, April 13th, at 7pm at the CASO Station in St. Thomas. There will be a short information session, Q&A, and time for casual networking. Representatives of local charities are welcome to attend to learn more about the initiative, and curious members of the public can come out to join the fun as well. A cash bar will be open with proceeds from the bar supporting the CASO Station.

Following this event, the project really ramps up! Once we have reached our 100 member pledges, local charities will be invited to submit brief funding proposals to the Foundation. A short list of charities will then be chosen to present project ideas to the ‘100 People Who Care’ at a special granting event. For this occasion, each charitable organization will have the opportunity to make a five-minute presentation to the membership to pitch what they would do with $10,000 to foster positive change in the Elgin-St. Thomas community. At the end of the evening, the 100 People Who Care will vote, and the winning charity will receive $10,000 that night!


The ‘100 People Who Care’ initiative and other similar efforts have popped up all over the world. Several neighbouring communities, such as London, have been early adopters of this model. With the support of the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, this terrific approach to rapid community-building is now coming to Elgin County and St. Thomas!

“I am very happy to be one of the founding members of the ‘100 People Who Care’ in our community,” comments Andrew Gunn, a member of the planning committee. “We have a lot of extremely talented people locally who are interested in supporting great causes, but may not have a lot of time to get involved with traditional service clubs. The ‘100 People Who Care’ approach solves this problem by offering a way to network with like-minded people, learn about charitable organizations in our community, and then make an immediate impact by supporting the best ideas.”

Download a pledge form, or Register for the April 13th event at

Announcing the Elgin Welcome Fund!

February 26, 2016


As communities across Canada welcome Syrian refugees displaced from their homes, Elgin County volunteers are working to support the resettlement of privately sponsored refugee families in our own community.

St. Thomas-Elgin has a long history of private refugee sponsorship and is well-prepared to welcome and integrate refugees into the community.  Several local churches, and agencies such as the YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin, have committed to sponsor families.

With the support of the YWCA Settlement Services and the St. Thomas-Elgin Local Immigration Partnership, a coalition of volunteers called “Unite For Refugees” has formed and is committed to sharing resources and strengths to support the refugee families as they start their new life.  Training has been provided to the many caring individuals in how to address needs for newcomers. A website has also been developed  that has many valuable resources for the community.

Elgin County and the City of St Thomas could see up to ten families arriving in the community over the coming months. Unite for Refugees is preparing to help these families access housing and navigate the many challenges of resettling in Canada.

Several families have already arrived, including a family of 6 sponsored by the YWCA. “It’s been such a pleasure to meet this wonderful family and we are surprised and delighted how quickly they are settling in and making friends, especially the children who are already loving road hockey and skating!” said Shelley Harris of the YWCA.

Unite For Refugees has set a goal to fundraise and support up to three refugee families, and fundraising is well underway. In addition to all the non-financial supports that these volunteers provide, there are real costs that sponsors must address and the goal is to raise funds to support the first year of life here in Canada. The greatest expense is housing.  Unite For Refugees has developed a fundraising campaign that includes several events, and is actively soliciting donations and support.

In support of local efforts the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation has established the ‘Elgin Welcome Fund’ and is accepting donations that will grant to charities providing support for refugees settling in Elgin County. An initial contribution of $1,000 from Kathy Collier/ESCF Board Member has established this Fund, and a very generous donation of $5,000 from Doug Tarry Homes had helped to grow this fund. “We are delighted to support these generous donors target their gifts where and when they are needed most” says Karen Laine, Executive Director of the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation. “There is such an outpouring of community support across Elgin County to help these families who have been through so much. It certainly warms my heart and we hope to see this fund grow with the generosity of other community members“. This new fund will provide charitable receipts for any donation of $10 or more.

Kathy Collier, Shelley Harris and Doug Tarry Homes staff.2

Photo: Shelley Harris/YWCA, Kathy Collier and the staff/Board of Doug Tarry Homes

“Unite For Refugees is excited to join communities across Canada in welcoming our Syrian neighbours and helping them build a new life after suffering unimaginable hardships,” says Shelley Harris, one of the organizers of Unite for Refugees. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation in our efforts and for the generous support already received from many in our local community.”

Upcoming fundraising events to look for:

  • Taste of Syria: Sample food and learn about Syrian culture from a guest speaker(s). The committee is looking for volunteers interested in helping out with this spring event. Contact Rachel at the YWCA for details.
  • Rock’n for Refugees: June 18th, 2016. A family event with 50’s and 60’s music provided by Frankie and the Fairlanes’. Stay tuned for ticket details.

To contribute to this campaign to support refugee family resettlement in Elgin County, charitable receipts will be provided with donations to:

Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation’s

Elgin Welcome Fund

Donate Now


Or, to the Unite For Refugees Fund

  • Mail chq to YWCA St. Thomas–Elgin, 16 Mary St., St. Thomas, ON N5P 2S3.


Celebrating over half a million granted to date!

December 12, 2014



THANKS to everyone who helped us Celebrate our First 10 Years!

May 14, 2014

2014. Speaker Terry Jackson.3Many Thanks to all those who
attended our 10 Year Celebration at the CASO station on Thursday!

Thanks to our speaker Terry Jackson, Board Member of Community Foundations of Canada for his inspiring words that helped us to feel a part of a strong national network with great vision.

An EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU to all of the Founding Donors, Donors, Donor Advisors, Founding Board Members, Board Members, Volunteers, Corporate Partners, Community Partners and Professional Advisors who have helped to BUILD the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation!

Your work helps to build more vibrant, healthy and resilient communities across Elgin County.

And finally……Thanks to the wonderful caterers who provided our ‘tasting menu’- The Arts and Cookery Bank, Farmgate Markets, James Meadows Catering, Quai Du Vin and Railway City Brewery.

Head to our Facebook Page to see more photos!

2014.Karen Laine2014.Louise Ferriman. Elaine McGregor-Morris

Professional Advisor Resources

May 25, 2011

Building ‘e-Tools’ and Resources for our Professional Advisors

Online tools and resources for our professional advisors…..are just a click away. By working with the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, professional advisors — such as estate planners, attorneys, funeral directors, insurance professionals, accountants, financial managers and others — can help their clients fulfill their financial and charitable goals.

At Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, we work as your partner — you stay in control of your client relationships, and we can help you provide a full range of services.

Visit the Professional Advisors page for the latest resources!