A $50,000 grant received by the Summerland Asset Development Initiative will help them continue to provide youth with opportunities to get involved with the community.
The provincial government gaming grant is about one-third of their operating budget, said Alyson Lindsay, administrative coordinator at SADI.
She said the funding will cover their utilities and staff wages so they can operate the programs to support Summerland youth and families.
“This is vital to the operation of SADI,” said Lindsay. “It is a huge chunk of money for us. We actually got a little bit more this year thankfully because with a lot of our grants we lost some funding. We really struggle to keep the doors open so every little bit extra helps.”
SADI runs under the mission statement that all youth benefit from opportunities to develop their positive qualities and a deeper connection to their community while building their inner capacity to make good choices, become healthy individuals, adapt easily to change and reach their full potential. Lindsay said that is why it is important that the programs are youth run initiatives. It allows the members to stay involved with the planning of activities that are relevant to them.
“In the last year our enrolment has been steadily increasing and we have been trying to take a new approach and be more activities based. This way there is not so much idle time. The kids definitely do need that free time to be with their friends and hang out, but we need to balance it out more with active play and organized activities,” said Lindsay.
As part of their involvement with SADI, youth must agree, as part of their membership, to complete a certain number of community based activities. This community involvment can include volunteering at festivals or can be at the legion helping them cook or on specialty nights.
“They are part of this community. We like to keep the kids involved because it is a free membership and it encourages them to give back,” said Lindsay.
SADI is a recognized charity that receives most of their funding from grants and service organizations. They also receive individual donations from community members who are then eligible to receive a tax receipt.