Foundation Expands Support for Students
The Hamilton Foundation for Student Success (HFSS) continued to grow alongside the students it aims to support in 2018-19, thanks to its generous donors.
Most of its nearly $1 million in revenue was disbursed to school-designated supports – cases in which a donor would like funds directed to a specific school, such as a school nutrition program. Other significant disbursements were for designated awards and program-specific grants, the latter of which has supported robotics, Prom Project and more.
One program-specific grant supported a three-school pilot of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Canada, in which children aged birth to five years receive a high quality, age-appropriate book in the mail, free of charge. HFSS provides postage for the program.
“The need in our community is significantly greater than what the Foundation can do,” said HFSS development officer Amy Leaming Cote.
Perhaps the best indication of this is the types of supports HFSS offers through its Student Support Grants, which support basic student needs with up to $200 a year. The grants help a student attend or stay in school, or participate in a school activity where a lack of funds may have prevented this.
Clothing, footwear, hygiene products, food, a yearbook: these are some of the basics an HFSS Student Support Grant can deliver. It can also keep a student like Maysa Abd Allah warm in her wheelchair, thanks to a custom-made winter coat that covers her from head to toe.
Maysa, 10, arrived with her family from Syria and found winter recesses too cold to be outside in her wheelchair, which she needs due to cerebral palsy. School staff did their research, reached out to the foundation and were thrilled with the result.
“The Foundation is really wonderful,” said school office administrator Shelley Hayward. “We submitted the application online and, within 48 hours, we had an answer.”
The coat arrived in January, 2019. Maysa hasn’t missed a recess since.