“We at the Cortes Island Community Foundation are really excited to be able to offer a job and to attract someone into this awesome role as Project Manager for the Cortes Island Village Commons development,” explained Executive Director Manda Aufochs Gillespie (MAG).
“The Cortes Island Academy is working on becoming its own nonprofit, but right now it actually functions as a program of the Cortes Island Community Foundation. Part of this was because I have had this interest in trying to figure out if we could create a high school pilot program and I work part-time as the Executive Director of the Cortes Island Community Foundation. So there was an obvious link, but it really goes back to the root of why we need a high school program on Cortes,” explained Manda Aufochs Gillespie.
“Most community foundations have years and years of fundraising and millions of dollars of endowments behind them. They get to have their cake and eat it too,” explained Executive Director Manda Aufochs Gillespie.
“This idea that we’ve got – to just hit the ground running and figure out what the social profits on Cortes need and trying to help become a partner and getting that for them – turns out that’s really innovative in the community foundation world. It’s only the most up to date modern community foundations that are trying to figure that out.”
Three Cortes Island projects are about to receive a $40,000 grant to advance gender equality. This is part of a $3.4 million collaboration between the Community Foundations of Canada and the Equality Fund supported by the Government of Canada.
Manda Aufochs Gillespie, Executive Director of the Cortes Island Community Foundation, explained, “We were able to partially fund three different projects. Those include our Women’s Centre, which everybody knows, runs with very little funding and a real bootstrap mentality, like ‘we’re gonna get it done.’ So it’s going to be a little bit of funding for supporting their work. The other really exciting project that I hope is going to make a major difference in many families’ lives is the Playschool expansion, so that there’ll actually be almost full-time childcare available on Cortes for the first time ever. The third one is basically an intergenerational helping hands project being put forward by the Family Support Services of the CCHA (Cortes Community Health Association).”