Community of Hearts says “Thank You!” for our June Donation…

Tannis Sprott and Sharon Lewis make a “Big Cheque” donation to Kyle Hare of Community of Hearts

Thank You So Much to the 100 Women Who Care Guelph from Community of Hearts!

Hello and Good Evening Everyone, 

My name is Kyle Hare and I am the Development and Outreach Coordinator at Community of Hearts Lifelong Learning Centre. Community of Hearts is a not-for-profit organization located in downtown Guelph in the Old Quebec Street Mall which supports youth, adults and seniors (16 years of age and older) with developmental disabilities to achieve the level of independence they desire.

Kyle Hare says a wholehearted “Thank you!” on behalf of Community of Hearts

Community of Hearts began in 2012 in the basements of caregivers seeking to provide quality life and skill-based learning opportunities for their loved ones with developmental disabilities. Noticing a dearth in learning opportunities offered to persons with developmental disabilities (especially after high school), these caregivers worked tirelessly to provide their loved ones with quality learning opportunities, constituting a niche otherwise unavailable in our community.

Since 2016, Community of Hearts has been fortunate to have our Centre in the Old Quebec Street Mall in downtown Guelph. As a charitable organization, the majority of Community of Hearts’ funding comes through us from grants and donations. 

Through a variety of Life Skills based programs, such as our Day Program, our Social Enterprise / Job Skills Program, our Evening Programs and our Sunday Social Club, just to name a few, Community of Hearts provides the opportunity for persons with developmental disabilities to continue learning beyond secondary education and work towards their goal of independence and becoming more active and engaged members of our community. 

At the 100 Women Who Care Guelph and 100+ Men Who Give a Damn Guelph’s combined quarterly meeting in June, Community of Hearts was extremely fortunate to be chosen as the recipient for the quarter’s combined funding. The funding Community of Hearts received from the 100 Women Who Care Guelph and 100+ Men Who Give a Damn Guelph will be used to construct an accessible washroom in our Lifelong Learning Centre. To date, the funding received from the 100 WWCG and 100+ MWGDG has reached just over $25,000. Currently, we are in the process of having the drawings created and soon will be acquiring the permits necessary to begin construction for this amazing project. Chris from FS Build Co., a contractor who has performed renovations in our Centre in the past and also a member of the 100+ Men Who Give a Damn Guelph will be doing the construction. It was funny, because the day after the past meeting, Chris had messaged me saying “Congratulations on your win!” and I thought to myself “Wow, good news travels fast!” and he told me about how he was actually “A member of the 100+ Men Who Give a Damn Guelph.” This was a nice reminder of how wonderful and well-knit our incredible community truly is. 

As for most if not all charities and not-for-profit organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on Community of Hearts. Not only did we suffer from a decline in participant numbers, but also, many of our participants suffered from isolation, affecting both their personal growth and development of social skills during this time. For that reason, we are very happy to be back in-person in the Lifelong Learning Centre, and are all very excited to be getting this incredible project underway. An accessible washroom in our space means that we will be better able to serve a larger demographic of people in our community who would wish to access our programs and services, better supporting them on their journey towards personal independence.

It is a pleasure to be here alongside all of these other phenomenal organizations and to know we have such wonderful resources and support in our community. Best of luck to this evening’s presenters. No matter what the outcome is, we are all winners for simply being here tonight and for the changes that we play a role in making each and every day. Together, we can and are making our community a better place. 

I would like to express a giant thank you once again to the 100 Women Who Care Guelph for all of the incredible work you do and have done for our wonderful community and for allowing me the opportunity to speak here on behalf of Community of Hearts. As someone who is fortunate to see great changes occur each day with the People We Support at Community of Hearts, I have come to understand that the biggest, most positive changes happen by having someone first believe in you, empowering you to believe more in yourself. Thank you for believing in us. We are so very grateful at the Lifelong Learning Centre.

Thank you and have a great evening,

Kyle Hare