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Trillium Foundation grant helped CHATS rebound from pandemic

$54,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant in 2022 was used to purchase furniture, air purifiers, vehicle plexiglass barriers, virtual technology for adult day programs
Richmond Hill MPP Daisy Wai, Newmarket-Aurora MPP Dawn Gallagher Murphy and Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MPP Michael Parsa, here with CHATS CEO Christina Bisanz and (far left) Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer Ken Simpson, visited CHATS to see how its $54,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant in 2022 helped the agency recover from the pandemic.

Newmarket-Aurora MPP Dawn Gallagher Murphy, Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MPP Michael Parsa and Richmond Hill MPP Daisy Wai visited CHATS -Community and Home Assistance to Seniors to learn how the $54,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation last year was used to help it recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Taking care of our seniors is a responsibility we collectively share,” said Parsa in a CHATS news release. “The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund is helping CHATS make necessary upgrades to their facility. By building a safer environment, we are ensuring that our seniors can fully participate in their community for years to come.”

The grant was used to purchase tables, chairs, storage cabinets, air purifiers, vehicle plexiglass barriers and virtual technology to help with its adult day programs, the news release stated.

The grant also helped with the costs of safety barriers in volunteer vehicles, as well as increased client admission opportunities, among other benefits.

“I am overjoyed that CHATS has been able to use the Resilient Communities Fund to provide an opportunity for our older adults to bounce back from the isolation many experienced during the peak of COVID-19 and live actively,” said Gallagher Murphy. “Programs such as CHATS' adult day program help seniors to be better connected to their community and each other. Thanks to Ontario Trillium Foundation's Resilient Communities Fund grant program, organizations like CHATS can ensure we are building age-friendly communities where seniors can thrive.”

The pandemic demonstrated the importance of ensuring good ventilation and air flow, along with mechanisms to enable physical distancing in its adult day program locations and vehicles, the agency said. 

"CHATS is a shining example of the incredible work that non-profit organizations do in our community, and I'm thrilled to join you all in celebrating their success in receiving the $54,700 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Wai. “It's an honour to recognize the tireless efforts of CHATS in making a positive impact on our community. Congratulations on this well-deserved achievement and thank you for your unwavering commitment to the well-being of our seniors."

"We are extremely appreciative of the funds we’ve received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” said Christina Bisanz, CEO of CHATS. “This grant has allowed us to purchase furniture, equipment and devices that will provide prevention and protective measures for our clients, staff, and volunteers in our physical locations. The technology enables us to keep our clients connected and engaged when they have to stay home or cannot attend our programs due to illness. This keeps everyone safer,” she said adding “We congratulate the Ontario Trillium Foundation on 40 years of granting and building healthy and vibrant communities across the province.”

CHATS adult day programs are full-day community-based programs, offering respite to caregivers and providing older adults with individualized plans of care. The programs include a variety of social and wellness activities, companionship, nutritious snacks, and lunch, in a safe, friendly, and caring environment while addressing social isolation for older adults. Activities include exercise, mental stimulation, crafts, outings, relaxation programs, entertainment, health promotion, and disease prevention. Programs are also being offered virtually for clients who are unable to attend in person.  

The Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the government of Ontario, invested nearly $110 million into 1,022 community projects and partnerships last year.