Ian Martin’s mission is to connect people in meaningful work. Unfortunately, we know that COVID-19 has created even more obstacles for people to secure meaningful work.
With Ian Martin’s Stewardship Council and our Meaningful Work Foundation, we are proud to do our part to help bring the dignity of employment to those who might not otherwise readily find it. In short, we partner with non-profit organizations that help break down barriers to employment.
This year, Ian Martin is giving grants to nine organizations in three countries, totaling more than $104,000! This is our most significant contribution to date! We are super happy to be partnering with a wide range of non-profit organizations that provide access to basic needs, skills training, and/or employment opportunities.
Across Canada, in Uganda, and in Guatemala, these charities are helping individuals—including single parents, BIPOC youth, people with disabilities, people who have been formerly incarcerated, as well as newcomers, for instance – with life-transforming opportunities. Together, we are breaking down barriers to employment.
Ian Martin’s Meaningful Work Foundation 2021 Grant recipients are:
Home Suite Hope
In the Halton region of Ontario, single parents spend approximately 45% of their income on shelter alone. Single parents also face extreme barriers to employment and it’s that employment that enables them to achieve financial stability and independence. Home Suite Hope unites a network of vital support services for single parents and their children to encourage and support them as they journey from poverty to stability.
The funds from our foundation will cover tuition for one program participant to complete their final year of studies at Sheridan College in the field of Human Resources. In addition, the funds will cover basic needs for other single parents studying, including transportation and childcare.
Weston Frontlines Centre (Frontlines) is a charity providing an accessible center and services to meet the pressing needs of children and youth of Weston and surrounding neighborhoods of Central Etobicoke and York-South Weston, one of the poorest ridings not only in Toronto but across Ontario.
Ian Martin’s Meaningful Work Foundation funds will create 20 spaces for the Frontburners Youth Kitchen/Catering Careers program, an 8-week culinary training program for BIPOC youth facing barriers to employment.
Statistics show that at least 70% of people with intellectual disabilities are unemployed at any one time in Ontario. Creating employment is a critical way of achieving both community integration and a sense of pride and dignity.
Options Mississauga is a federally incorporated charity that provides innovative employment strategies to individuals who have an intellectual disability. It is a retail storefront in the Port Credit area of Mississauga. Operating a store has the unique advantage of providing an inclusive community setting for individuals who have an intellectual disability to learn a variety of employment skills and gain experience working in a “real” business.
Our grant to Options Mississauga will allow the organization to purchase an industrial shredder which will create multiple job opportunities for intellectually disabled adults.
Raising the Roof exists to ensure all Canadians have access to safe, stable homes, and the supports they need to achieve their potential.
The MWF funds will support their Reside program, providing 40 people who experience barriers to employment with trades training opportunities. The goal is to see at least 34 people pursuing careers in the construction sector through unionized apprenticeships or other full-time employment in this growing sector. They anticipate this program will also support the construction of three units of affordable housing, and provide homes for at least 10 Indigenous women and children at risk of homelessness in Winnipeg.
The Furniture Bank is a social enterprise-powered charity that provides newcomers, low-income individuals, and families, with home essentials that are needed to create conditions of comfort, dignity, and stability that come from having a furnished home.
Our funds will support their Leg Up program by providing work experience, life and skills training, and meaningful job opportunities for newcomers to Canada, youth, and other individuals facing barriers to employment. Leg Up participants are employed in roles across Furniture Bank’s operations including positions within their warehouse, on pickup and delivery trucks, in their repair workshop, call centre, as well as administrative support. After working with the Furniture Bank, many Leg Up employees will then transition successfully to jobs in other industries and organizations.
The Bridge exists to provide services, transitional housing, and rehabilitative programs for victims, ex-offenders, and families, by promoting and enabling healing and reconciliation for those in Hamilton who are affected by crime.
Our funds will support the employment search efforts of those leaving prison and reintegrating back into the community.
Lil E Coffee Café is in downtown Calgary. Most of their workforce is made up of individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The bulk of their current staff has never had employment despite endless efforts. They are brewing greatness by giving life skills and opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This creates opportunities for these individuals with meaningful and productive employment ensuring important awareness for the local community.
The funds granted will allow Lil E to hire more staff and provide dignity in the form of a purposeful job to those who struggle to attain one.
ACTS exists to partner with communities to deliver the life-giving benefits of clean water, including hygiene and sanitation, in Uganda.
The grant received will go to the Nyakigyera Project which, among other things, will offer a soap-making workshop for community members, supporting them to register as a cooperative through which they can sell their soap for income.
Loving Arms was established with a vision to transform the lives of underprivileged and under-serviced families in rural Guatemala.
The Precious Products Women Co-op will teach mothers to create their own all-surface disinfectants and guide them to understand the techniques to develop sales and negotiation skills, allowing them to support their families financially, as well as create self-sufficiency.
Jennifer is a proud member of Ian Martin's team of writers/marketers. When not working, you can find Jennifer at an arena, at a ball field, or at a tennis court with her children, or reading a good book - preferably by a Canadian author!