Calgary Co-op and First Calgary Financial announce legacy donation to The Mustard Seed
In a unique partnership celebrating 2012 being the United Nations-declared International Year of Cooperatives, Calgary Co-op and First Calgary Financial will make a joint legacy donation totalling $500,000 cash and in-kind gifts in the form of health, nutrition and financial literacy education over the next five years to The Mustard Seed.
"I feel like I'm wearing out my 'Thank You' because I'm using it so often these days," says Ron, a client of The Mustard Seed Calgary. A few weeks earlier, with help from The Mustard Seed Calgary, Ron moved into the first home he has been able to call his own in eight years.
He explains that he always enjoyed a normal, happy life, but his path took an unexpected detour when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease a few years ago. The diagnosis ended his career as a truck driver. Though he continued to work part-time, it wasn't enough to cover his living expenses. Paired with a seemingly endless series of unreliable roommates, Ron says he never felt safe at home and was constantly on the move.
He came to The Mustard Seed Calgary in need of a second chance. The Mustard Seed's Housing team worked with Ron to find an affordable rental unit. They also helped him move in and supplied furniture and other household necessities.
Housing programs provide individuals like Ron with much-needed second chances. With ongoing support and mentorship through The Mustard Seed Calgary, he has become a real-life success.
"The generosity of these two cooperatives will help thousands of Calgarians experiencing homelessness and poverty. We are thrilled to partner with Calgary Co-op and First Calgary Financial to support change in the lives of those we serve," said Aart Schuurman Hess, Interim CEO & CAO of The Mustard Seed Calgary. "The funds will not only be used to meet basic needs, but also to support vulnerable men and women on their journey to independence and fulfillment."
"Calgary Co-op is privileged to partner with First Calgary Financial and support the vital role The Mustard Seed Calgary plays in our city. We truly believe our joint contribution honours the cooperative community spirit, will make a difference in the lives of many Calgarians and will support Calgary's vision to end homeless," says Deane Collinson, CEO of Calgary Co-operative Association.
Paul Kelly, President and CEO of First Calgary Financial says, "Lives are transformed every day at The Mustard Seed Calgary and we are so pleased to be able to support their work in a meaningful way. Homelessness and poverty are incredibly complex issues, but together with Calgary Co-op we want to create real and lasting social change by taking an innovative approach to supporting an important non-profit organization doing life-changing work for Calgarians."
About The Mustard Seed
The Mustard Seed is a Christian non-profit organization that has been caring for the needs of the less fortunate since 1984. Through its three ministry centres across Alberta, The Mustard Seed delivers basic services, housing and employment programs to those in need and partners with the community to address the root causes of poverty. For more information, visit theseed.ca.
About Calgary Co-op
Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. With over 440,000 members, 3400 employees, assets of $441 million and annual sales over $1 billion, Calgary Co-op, Calgary’s local fresh market is committed to lead in food, petroleum, home health care, pharmacy and travel. Investing over 3.5 million into the Calgary community, Calgary Co-op supports numerous not-for-profit and charitable organizations within the city. For more information, visit calgarycoop.com.
About First Calgary Financial
Recognized as one of the Most Admired Corporate Cultures in Western Canada, First Calgary Financial is Calgary’s only locally-owned, full-service financial institution and the ninth largest credit union in Canada, with assets under administration exceeding $2.5 billion. First Calgary Financial’s 500 employees are proud to be leading, learning and living in the communities they serve. For more information, visit firstcalgary.com.