WATERLOO- As the school year comes to a close for youth across Waterloo Region, so does a fantastic year for SVP Teens. SVP Teens, a program of Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region, brings together some of the region’s most passionate youth to identify issues in our community and work towards solving them. From September to June, students from sixteen schools across our region meet virtually and in-person to hear from guest speakers, share volunteer opportunities, and create fundraisers to support their yearly SVP Teens Community Grant.
As many in the charitable sector know, this was not an easy year to fundraise. Despite lockdowns, virtual limitations and COVID-19 mandates, SVP Teens held online fundraisers and events in the community to raise $4,000 for their 2022 SVP Teens Community Grant. After a thorough selection process, SVP Teens chose Martin Luther University College’s Distro program, which provides free food and essential products to students at Wilfrid Laurier University, to receive their grant. “SVP Teens is so excited to be supporting a program with such a meaningful impact!” Shares SVP Teens Co-Chair Audrey Guo. “To its beneficiaries, the Distro offers not only food assistance but the dignity of choice and fresh produce as it helps to ease students into adulthood”.
The grant is sure to make an impact in the Distro program. “Thanks to the grant from SVP Teens, the Distro will continue to be able to support the university students who experience food insecurity on Laurier and Waterloo campuses with nourishing fresh food” shared Anne Anderson, Community Pastor at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. “As we continue supporting the physical and mental well-being of young adults through Distro, the students are supported in their study as they grow and continue to change our world.”
The ongoing success of SVP Teens through 2021/22 has been made possible through grants and funding from two local funders, The Astley Family Foundation and United Way Waterloo Region Communities (UWWRC). We are very grateful to share that SVP Teens has been awarded a 3-year grant, valued at $50,000/year from The Astley Family Foundation that will support SVP Teens’ operations and core funding through the 2025/26 cohort of youth. “The SVP Teens program is a unique and exciting way for youth to engage with their community and learn about philanthropy,” explains Jennifer Astley-Kinsey, Executive Director of the Astley Family Foundation. “The ultimate goal of this program is to develop caring and motivated youth leaders in Waterloo Region as they will become the next generation of leaders and donors in the charitable sector.”
“Longer term funding such as this allows us to make bold plans with assurance of financial sustainability in the coming years,” notes Program Manager Jill Mills. “As our youth begin the recruitment process for September 2022, we can confidently start to dream big with this substancial funding commitment.”
About Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region
Through engaged philanthropy, SVPWR builds relationships between people who want to give back and the charities who make change possible. Since launching in 2010, SVPWR has turned $635,000 of grants into over $4 million of support for 30+ Waterloo Region charities and connected 100+ community builders through volunteer projects & events.
Rose Greensides, Executive Director, Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region
519-772-4590, ext. 1 | firstname.lastname@example.org