Canada’s Jamaican community has acquired an organization that solicits charitable donations to sustain global small scale programs.
Consultant and philanthropist Betty Steinhauer officially handed over the People Bridge Foundation at a reception last week at the Jamaican Consulate.
Steinhauer created the foundation in 1997 to reduce poverty and promote health care in developing and under-developed countries.
Consul General George Ramocan acknowledged Steinhauer’s generosity in making the charity available to the Jamaican community.
“There were a number of organizations, including two universities in this city, that wanted to acquire the foundation,” he said. “I want to thank Betty for this gesture and I am certain this charitable foundation is going to play a very significant role in helping the community to achieve its goals. This launch is important because it enables the Jamaican community here in Canada to further access tax-free donations to strengthen and support poverty alleviation projects not only in Jamaica but in countries around the developing world.
“We were one of the first countries here to mobilize funds at the time of the Haiti crisis early last year and we saw the need then for a charitable organization like this that would have assisted us to do more. It’s a very vital development because we want to be able to reach beyond our communities.”
Retired banking executive and former president of Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE), Diana Burke, heads the charitable foundation board.
The foundation will assist in the selection and funding of identified Toronto and Jamaican charitable projects.
People Bridge provides an automated facility through canadahelps.org for donors to contribute to these projects on a one-time or periodic basis from credit or debit accounts, and to generate receipts for the donations.
“I think what this organization shows you is that it doesn’t take much to really make a difference,” Burke said. “I am sure everyone of you has given to family and friends over the years. I think you are here because you know that a small gift could change somebody’s life.”
A friend of late diplomat Kay Baxter, Steinhauer has made several charitable contributions to Jamaican communities over the years.
In addition to canadahelps.org, individuals interested in donating to People Bridge can do so online by going to www.peoplebridgecharity.org or by cheque payable to The People Bridge Charitable Foundation, 842 Eglinton Ave. W. P.O Box 85536, Toronto, Ontario, M5N 0A2.