These Greater Victoria charities embrace partnerships to build community

When a community comes together, amazing things happen. A current Victoria Foundation video series showcasing some of the many non-profits making our community a better place to live, work and play is the perfect example.

Working with Riptide Studios’ Dave Wallace, the Victoria Foundation is highlighting the efforts of some of the many groups whose invaluable work is possible in part because of the Foundation’s Community Grants Program – grants possible, in turn, because of the generosity and foresight of donors.

Initiatives include the 1000×5 Children’s Book Recycling Project, which promotes early childhood literacy by getting books into the hands of children and families in need – ideally letting young children experience 1,000 stories by the time they begin school.

Volunteers are at the heart of making that happen, driving a massive book recycling ecosystem in Greater Victoria by collecting children’s books, restoring them and redistributing them through 27 partner organizations to inspire the next generation of readers.

In fact, by donors and volunteers working together, the team redistributes between 2,500 and 3,000 books every month to local children, notes project coordinator Eileen Eby.

While many books are donated by schools, families and individuals, some – like books for babies – are in short supply, so must be purchased, along with supplies to refurbish donated titles, Eby says, thanking both donors and the Victoria Foundation for helping make that happen. “We couldn’t do it if we didn’t have that support,” she added

The video series has also profiled another vital community partnership: RAD Recreation Adapted Society and the Victoria Tool Library. The two have come together to ensure people of all abilities can indulge their passion for sport with the opportunity to rent affordable adaptive equipment.

Tanelle Bolt founded RAD after sustaining a spinal cord injury, and in looking to return to her active outdoor lifestyle with her support network of friends and other like-minded individuals, found nothing. Today, the charity helps fill the gap of outdoor access for independent-living youth and adults with mobility challenges.

Recognizing price as the most common barrier for people, RAD rents out an array of adaptive equipment, from hand cycles to all-terrain or beach-access wheelchairs.

This year, a $15,000 Community Grant from the Victoria Foundation is funding a pilot project to also make adaptive recreation equipment available through the Victoria Tool Library.

“You have this amazing organization – RAD Society – that does so much for people with disabilities, and the Victoria Tool Library is a centralized place where our members can come and borrow items,” reflects Sarah Webb, volunteer and board member with the Victoria Tool Library. “So it’s really a great match, to bring together these two organizations who care about our community and who are really making it better for people to live here in the Capital Region.”

To learn more about the Victoria Foundation’s Community Grants program and many other initiatives, visit

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