Generation to Generation Society was pleased to receive a cheque for $10,000 from Teck Trail Operations. Ashley Allin, Sanctuary supervisor, provided a tour to Carol Vanelli Worosz to show the upgraded facilities. Teck Trail Operations has funded Sanctuary operations since its beginning in 1998. Photo: Submitted

Generation to Generation Society was pleased to receive a cheque for $10,000 from Teck Trail Operations. Ashley Allin, Sanctuary supervisor, provided a tour to Carol Vanelli Worosz to show the upgraded facilities. Teck Trail Operations has funded Sanctuary operations since its beginning in 1998. Photo: Submitted

Pandemic stretches resources thin for Trail after-school program

A grant from the United Way helped to keep the nonprofit afloat last year

There’s no question the pandemic has been especially hard on nonprofits and other charities that regularly hold fundraisers to help keep essential community services running like the Sanctuary Pre-Teen Centre in downtown Trail.

This free after-school program for children aged eight to 12 (Grades 2-7) was hit especially hard because the nonprofit that runs it, called the Generation to Generation Society, lost their major fundraising income from the recycle program.

Prior to the pandemic, society volunteers would sort through countless bottles and cans donated at the regional landfill in Trail, which generated around 20 per cent of revenue — tallying $25,000 annually — to keep the Sanctuary lights on and children fed.

A grant from the United Way helped to keep the nonprofit afloat last year even though the doors of Sanctuary were forced to close for three months.

Teck Trail has funded Sanctuary operations since the site opened in 1998. Thankfully, the company remained integral in keeping operations running since the start of the pandemic in 2020, and most recently Teck Trail donated another $10,000 to help in the coming months.

But this year may still be a struggle because the majority of grants from avenues outside of Teck only fund capital projects, not operations.

“Fundraising has become increasingly difficult given the COVID restrictions and the economic impact COVID has had in our communities,” Barbara Gibson, society treasurer, shares. “Our monthly donors have faithfully supported us through the pandemic and provide funds that we can rely on. We always welcome new monthly donors.”

The good news is that Sanctuary is back to regular hours, and still able to provide snacks and dinner for an average of 15 children per day.

“We have tried to minimize the effect that the pandemic has had on Sanctuary,” Gibson told the Trail Times. “For a while we were having the children pre-register but we have been back to walk-in for a while,” she added.

“Of course we have increased the daily cleaning and the children have to follow the rules: we take and record their temperature when they enter Sanctuary, they have to wear masks and there is a lot of hand washing.”

The children have adapted well to the changes Gibson said, pointing out that if a child is having a problem, Sanctuary’s trained staff is on hand to provide support.

“We always welcome volunteers, non-perishable food items, and money,” she said. “We are in the 24th year of our operations and would appreciate the communities’ support to make it to our 25th year.”

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