The Old Ottawa South Community Association recently received an important grant from Red Cross Canada's COVID-19 Emergency Support for Community Organizations Granting Program for Non-Profits, made possible through funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund led by Employment and Social Development Canada.
This grant was awarded to OSCA for the effort made by staff to pivot from in-person programming to free or Pay-What-You-Can based virtual programming for the Spring and Summer sessions. The grant - worth a total of $44,942.88 - is a crucial part of the survival of OSCA, as it allows the association to cover some of the considerable fixed expenses associated with running these programs at no cost to the community, while having to operate on a severely reduced and unsustainable revenue stream. OSCA is extremely grateful to the Red Cross and the Government of Canada for awarding this generous and vital grant. On behalf of OSCA, President Richard Slowikowski wrote a thank-you letter, printed in full below.
Dear Mr. Sauvé,
I am writing to you, on behalf of the Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA), to express the Association’s thanks for the recent grant provided to OSCA under the Canadian Red Cross Society’s program entitled COVID-19 Emergency Response Support for Non-Profits.
The grant was to assist OSCA with the financial costs it incurred in offering virtual programming to the community this spring and summer as we had to suspend our regular suite of in-person programming for both children and adults (including seniors) due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent closure of the community centre where we deliver our programming. The programming, which was delivered online, included those for children who were at home and no longer at school and for adults especially isolated seniors, covering a wide variety of general interest, and fitness programming (which OSCA calls “Vitality For Life”). The programs were offered free of charge and were enthusiastically received by those in the community, particularly parents/children and seniors. From April to August we provided over 50 programs to almost 1,000 individual participants. I am attaching a screen shot of our summer program guide to give you an idea of the range of programming we provided. While aimed primarily at the Old Ottawa South community and its needs, programming was open to anyone who signed up online to participate.
Not only did the online programs provide a valuable service to our community when in-person community programming was not available, but it provided badly needed employment for the many instructors who help us provide programming when their normal sources of in-person employment was not available during the early stages of the pandemic.
Your grant was of considerable assistance to OSCA in helping to defray the very substantial costs the association incurred in offering this suite of virtual programs, including our staff’s time in planning and managing the programming, the hiring of instructors, the provision of online and streaming services, and the marketing of the program offerings, all at a time when our revenue sources had essentially dried up.
Again, our sincere thanks to the Red Cross for providing this assistance, it was for OSCA literally a life saver!
This letter was sent on behalf of OSCA to the President and CEO of Red Cross Canada.