The St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto was founded in 1836 to help people in need. The young city had only 10,000 citizens at the time but it was growing quickly. It was a time of excitement and great promise. While many immigrants found success in their new home, others struggled to find their footing and fell into lives of despair.
Toronto’s social infrastructure was undeveloped in 1830s so it often fell to cultural groups to look after their own. Some key members of the Scottish community came together and agreed to assist their compatriots who had fallen on hard times. It was determined that the focus would be on those who were newly arrived. And with that, the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto was founded.
Officers were elected and managers assigned to take on cases. They focused on finding their fellow Scots work, a place to live and making sure their families didn’t go hungry. Events like the St. Andrew’s Charity Ball were held over the course of the year to fundraise. These events allowed member’s of the city’s Scottish community to raise funds while also supporting their culture.
There are now two entities under the St. Andrew’s banner, the Society and the Charitable Foundation. The Foundation works to mitigate the risks associated with poverty through grants to local charities. It has expanded its good works to help all those in need, regardless of country of origin. Over $1 million has been donated in the past 15 years to groups in the Greater Toronto Area. The supported organizations are smaller operations that don’t receive the same exposure as larger charities. They are deeply appreciative of the funding as even small amounts make a major impact in their efforts. Those wishing to make a tax deductible donation to the Charitable Foundation may do so here.
Grant applications are reviewed by a committee consisting of board members from the St. Andrew’s Society and other volunteers. The focus in 2021 was on helping those on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic. In total, $90,000 in grants were awarded through a combination of funds from the Charitable Foundation ($50,000) and the Hendrie Trust ($40,000).
Funding applications for 2022 will be accepted until December 10, 2021. Click here for more information on how to apply. The following charities received financial assistance in 2021.