By Mackenzie Myatt
Energy Group Watts Wind II has just donated over $4,000 dollars to the Eastern Shore Community Fund (ESCF), bringing the total assets of the fund to about $11,000. Watts Wind II is a renewable energy company and has 13 wind turbines currently operating in six communities across Nova Scotia, powering 6,500 homes.
ESCF was set up under the auspices of the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia in February 2018 to enable people and organizations to support enhancing the quality of life on the Shore and attracting new people to the area. The company’s donation means the fund is very close to being able to start making grants to local groups to build stronger, more inclusive communities on the Shore
Stacey McCarthy, Communications for the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia told the Cooperator, “Initiatives can range from building a new community playground, supporting summer youth camps, purchasing equipment for schools, creating senior programs, or establishing scholarships.”
The Community Foundation administers ESCF in partnership with a committee of local community members who know the Eastern Shore well. Laurie Cook, a co-founder of The Eastern Shore Community Fund, said she got interested in this funding model when she read about it being used elsewhere like Lunenburg County, which has one of the most successful funds in the province.
“They did some amazing things looking at bringing more people to Lunenburg County,” Cook said. “They got a trailer and hired someone to go across Canada, to just talk about the area and promote the county."
Cook did some research and found that there are community funds all across Nova Scotia, but the Eastern Shore didn’t have one. “I think it’s important to make use of all of the ways to make investments and increases the capacity of our community organizations to help us have the best life possible on the Eastern Shore,” Cook said.
The fund welcomes donations large and small, but the best way to donate a large amount is to contact the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia directly, and make sure they understand the donation is specifically for the Eastern Shore Community Foundation. The full amount of the donation will go into the fund, and the donor can get a tax receipt.
Another way to contribute to the fund is through CanadaHelps.org, an online site that allows donors to make smaller, regular monthly contributions. To set up regular donations on this site, put “Community Foundation of Nova Scotia” into the “Find a Charity” search box, and select the first pick Community Foundation of Nova Scotia, and then select the Eastern Shore Community Foundation from a drop-down menu of the various funds that CFNS administers. (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/).