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Children’s Aid Foundation’s pioneering “Ignite the Spark Fund” pledges $180,000 to local children’s agencies

by NationTalk on March 15, 2012216 Views

Toronto, March 15, 2012 – An innovative and exciting initiative launches next week, as the Children’s Aid Foundation grants $180,000 from its “Ignite the Spark Fund” to three Toronto child welfare agencies. “Ignite the Spark” represents a new way of thinking about the recreation and enrichment children in foster care need to help live fulfilling lives.

Andrea Weissman-Daniels and Mark Daniels, founders of the Ignite the Spark Fund, and Len Gamache, President of the Children’s Aid Foundation will make the presentations at a ceremony at 25 Spadina Road on Thursday, March 22 at 1:30PM. Media are welcome.These three agencies will receive a total of $180,000:

• Catholic Children’s Aid Society Toronto
• Native Child and Family Services Toronto
• Jewish Family and Child Services

The Ignite the Spark Fund was founded in response to the growing needs of more than 300,000 children who are either in foster care or under the watchful care of social workers while living at home with their families. For these kids, participating in hockey or dance lessons is unlikely as the cost is prohibitive. However, such recreational experiences are important in developing self-esteem, interpersonal skills and building the emotional and physical strength needed to persevere.

The Ignite the Spark Fund allows children to enroll in any program of their choice within their own communities and provides a commitment over multiple years. It also covers the costs of related clothing and equipment and gives them a level playing field with their peers.

“For thousands of disadvantaged children living in Canada every day begins and ends with the same sense of hopelessness,” said Weissman-Daniels. “The poverty, abuse and neglect they endure becomes all they know and all that they see ahead for themselves. The Ignite the Spark Fund is all about giving these children a way out and the igniting force behind a chain reaction that will affect the course of their lives forever.”

“Being good at something can provide the spark to build a child’s self-confidence and provide hope for a better future. We are proud to partner with Andrea and Mark in providing hope to kids in care and helping change their lives”, concluded Gamache. “We are grateful to them for their inspiration, and thank all the generous donors to the Ignite the Spark Fund.”

Donations are welcomed all year online at www.ignitethespark.ca

About the Children’s Aid Foundation
One in every 25 children in Canada are at risk and need our help. Many suffer in poverty, while others have been victims of abuse and neglect. A staggering 76,000 of them live in foster homes or a residential facility. The mission of the Children’s Aid Foundation is to fund programs that give them skills and hope for a promising future.

The Ignite the Spark Fund
The inspiration of Andrea Weissman-Daniels and her husband Mark Daniels, the Ignite the Spark Fund is intended to provide enrichment opportunities for vulnerable children and youth. Specifically the fund will pay for at-risk youth to sign up for sports and athletics, recreation, arts and cultural programs they would not otherwise have had the opportunity to explore.

For further information:
Jeff Ball, Children’s Aid Foundation, 416-923-0924 x230/ jball@cafdn.org.

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