The Synergy group is always easy to spot here in Chestermere. They’re the ones always first to lend a hand and with big smiles on their faces. But now, thanks to a generous donation from ATB Financial, they’ll be even easier to spot driving through town in their new wheels.
“We became aware that ATB was donating their used fleet vehicles to organizations who had already received a donation within the last two years. Synergy was the fortunate recipient of $1500 last year to use towards purchasing circus performing arts equipment in 2015. That equipment will be purchased later this year and is also funded by the Chestermere/Conrich Recreation Board”, said Christy Redl, Youth Development Coordinator with Synergy.
Redl explained that having a vehicle allows Synergy staff to travel between communities and transport program supplies throughout Chestermere, as well as, to and from Langdon. A vehicle also allows them to attend events, transport event supplies, and, on rare occasion, transport youth.
“This gesture is a small way of saying thank you for the contributions each of these organizations has made to growing our province,” said Sandra Huculak, ATB’s managing director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Leadership. “We’re always looking for new and unique ways to support Alberta’s non-profit sector rather than simply giving cash donations. Donating these vehicles seems really fitting”.
The community organizations receiving vehicles are:
• Zebra Child Protection Centre (Edmonton) – This organization offers a safe and comfortable place for children who have experienced abuse.
• Boyle Street Community Services (Edmonton) – This non-profit, along with its partner Ubuntu, have been battling poverty and homelessness for over 40 years.
• Norwood Child and Family Resource Centre (Edmonton) – Norwood’s purpose is to lessen the negative impacts of poverty by creating nurturing environments for children and offering literacy programs for children and adults.
• The Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (Edmonton) – The IAAW offers services and programs to aboriginal women to expand leadership skills and promote human rights.
• Inn from the Cold (Calgary) – This organization helps bring independence to Calgary’s homeless by offering food, shelter and clothing to those in need.
• SYNERGY (Chestermere) – As part of the Chestermere Area Youth and Community Development Society, SYNERGY works to encourage young people to pursue volunteerism and leadership in their communities.
Redl continued, “The car we received is a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid. Adult Mentor, Megan, and I went up to Edmonton to accept the vehicle on January 8, 2016. We were very privileged to be in fine company with the five other organizations who received vehicles. Adult mentors volunteer with our youth groups weekly and often attend events, camps, and retreats with the youth. It’s an amazing opportunity for adults in the community to get involved with the youth and develop meaningful and healthy relationships. We very much become a family and our youth are extremely attached to their mentors, whether they are adults or older teens. Community members who are interested in volunteering as adult mentors are encouraged to contact us”.
As a not-for-profit organization, Synergy is entirely grant and donation funded. “Donations like this one allow us to exist”, added Redl. “Support from the community through monetary donations, in-kind donations, and volunteer contributions are essential for the continued sustainability of Synergy and the work that we do in the community. We want to thank Chestermere ATB for their generosity and for introducing us to a corporation that values ongoing supportive relationships with Not for Profits and to Megan for bringing the fleet vehicle opportunity to our attention”.