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Cheat Sheet for Donations

  • At A Minimum: What We Need To Know

    We need to know who you are, where you live / work / meet and how many people depend on you.

    Ideally, your focus is on children and youth living in Winona, Stoney Creek and Grimsby. (Some have even told us how many kids they include or impact in each of these areas).

    The more detail and specificity the better. Be clear; don’t leave us wondering what how much money you need, tell us exactly; those that do it to the penny are taken even more seriously!  

    Tell us what you will do with the funds we give; feel free to tell us what will happen if we have to say ‘no.’

    Unlike other organizations, we’re happy to give to people rather than clubs, teams and organizations. We’ve covered people’s extraordinary costs when they’re in crisis. Once, we paid for a one-of-a-kind wheelchair for a boy whose family had been rejected time and again. Again, we try to fulfill very real NEEDS.

  • Why We Tend To Say "Yes" To An Application

    We love to help those who have helped us. Many of our biggest recipients have already volunteered in one of our booths during the Peach Festival; we’re more than happy to return the favour!

    We chuckle when the donation request is handwritten. We also take it more seriously. That’s because it’s likely based on a real ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’ and because the request is personal.

    Were especially happy to help when the recipient has done a lot of fundraising and requires a specific ‘top-up’ to meet a goal. Some requests show detailed financials; others include letters saying why their request for funds has been rejected. In cases like these, we get out the Kleenex… and then we get out the cheque book.

    Here’s a summary of the best request we ever received:

    • We are well known to you: we’ve volunteered in your peach sundae tent (number of people x number of shifts x number of years) and we host one of your dinners each year
    • You have helped us in the past (summary of specific donations)
    • Reminder of group’s focus (children based in our catchment area) as well as their mission, vision, values
    • We have spent 2 years fundraising $0,000 to attend a camping jamboree
    • Our tents were safely stored BUT there was a flood; they were ruined with only a few weeks to go before we leave. Insurance won’t cover this. Our parents are tapped out; we can’t fundraise any more.
    • We need 10 tents. Canadian Tire has them on sale for $00 each (flyer coupon attached) and the store manager has knocked off another 20%; she is reserving them for us until the end of the month. The cost is $000.00 including tax.

    Not surprisingly, they got the money. We even wrote the cheque that night and hand-delivered it on the way home! Which reminds us: include your name, address, and phone number. It’s amazing – especially requests sent by email – that people don’t tell us who to make the cheque out to or where to send it. Having a phone number allows one of our members to follow-up if we have questions.

  • Why We Tend To Say "No" To An Application

    More than half the requests we receive barely get reviewed much less seriously discussed. That’s because:

    • They’re out of our catchment area. The money we raise from people living in Winona, Stoney Creek and Grimsby stays here when we’re considering people’s requests; we are hometown proud!
    • They are written on full-colour letterhead and are accompanied by glossy brochures. We’re not yokels, but we are locals who appreciate simplicity. Moreover, in helping our neighbours, we tend to meet needs, not wants. If you can afford fancy-schmancy marketing materials you don’t need us.
    • They come from other service organizations or foundations; we go direct.
    • Because we are overwhelmed by requests for basic necessities, as much as we’d like to help – and have helped in the past – we’ve pulled back on almost all donations to athletic organizations. Sorry, this includes kids’ rep soccer, hockey, and baseball teams.
    • Although we value them immensely, we don’t fund mission trips. We also don’t fund trips for people, clubs or groups that simply want to explore the area, province, country or world. You’re welcome to send us a postcard, though!
  • How Long Does It Take To Consider An Application?

    Except during the summer, applications are reviewed monthly.

  • Why We Don't Reply To All Applications

    We’re a hard-working, all-volunteer executive. We simply don’t have the ability to reply to the overwhelming number of requests we receive. And, truly, many don’t come close to meeting our criteria.

    If you’re a school group, our failure to reply to your request may be because we’ve already met with school administrators or staff to create a plan for the year. We have carefully considered plans with both Orchard Park Secondary and St. John Henry Newman Catholic Secondary Schools. We also give modest cash awards to the Most Improved Students at these schools and many local elementary schools every year.

Some of our favourite Recipients

Orchard Park Robotics Team 2056

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1st Winona Scouts

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Lincoln Leapers

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