OpenRoad Foundation Honours Earth Month With Grants to Community Charities

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Four Canadian charities benefited from grants totalling $100,000, including Sea Smart. Photo OpenRoad Foundation

OpenRoad Foundation, the registered philanthropic arm of OpenRoad Group, kick-starts its 2024 giving program with Earth Month, dedicated to supporting initiatives that sustain British Columbia and Ontario’s robust ecosystems for present and future generations to come, as part of its Environment pillar.

OpenRoad Group staff were invited to volunteer for several initiatives, such as a food run hosted by Vancouver Food Runners with former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Kirk McLean and his wife Genevieve McLean, alongside team Genesis Richmond; and a special Shoreline Cleanup on April 13, 2024 with Sea Smart in Burnaby.

“Earth Month is an opportunity for OpenRoad and the community as a whole to reflect on a myriad of opportunities we have to affect change,” explains Christian Chia, CEO of OpenRoad Group and OpenRoad Foundation’s Board Chair. “We’ve selected four specific charities who are making change in their own way for the greater good, specifically with regards to sustainability and the environment.” 

Four charities received a combined total of $100,000 in honour of Earth Month, including:

Sea Smart 

Sea Smart is a Vancouver-based charity founded by marine biologist Dr. Elaine Leung in 2016 to inspire and empower kids to love and protect our ocean. Its purpose is to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and issues affecting the ocean. Since its inception, Sea Smart has empowered more than 40,000 people through in-person programs across Metro Vancouver and over 1,000,000 people in 30-plus countries through its free online educator resources to become ocean heroes.

Vancouver Food Runners. Photo OpenRoad Foundation

Vancouver Food Runners

Vancouver Food Runners’ mission is to respond to the unfortunate disconnect between the fact that 58% of all food produced in Canada is wasted or lost, while one in seven households in British Columbia are food insecure. Its aim is to prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream—where it will negatively harm the environment—and instead redirect it to nonprofits in Vancouver that work with the most vulnerable members of the community.

Growing Chefs. Photo OpenRoad Foundation

Growing Chefs

Growing Chefs is where kids’ connections to food take root; where food can be a catalyst for change in the lives of children and youth and plays a crucial role in supporting thriving communities and a healthy planet. From seed to plate to compost—Growing Chefs provide a space where kids can feel joy, autonomy, and dignity in their interaction with food—growing seedlings, learning knife skills, and sharing food that they prepared with their peers.

Eco Source. Photo OpenRoad Foundation

Eco Source

Founded in 1979, Eco Source is an environmental education nonprofit organization that promotes waste reduction, urban agriculture, sustainability education, nature connection, and youth leadership. As a recognized leader in climate action in the Region of Peel, the organization is committed to promoting resiliency and environmental sustainability through creative education by promoting inclusive programs that reflect the diversity of its community.

“Vancouver Food Runners, Growing Chefs, Sea Smart, and Eco Source all exemplify dedication towards sustainability, education, and ideas for bettering our global environment,” says Shea Studler, OpenRoad Foundation Manager. “We’re thrilled to provide funds towards their continued hard work and to further focus on our Environment key pillar.”

OpenRoad Foundation’s board, advisory committee and Studler collectively participate in shortlisting charity partners based on three key pillars: Environment, Community, and Education. The shortlisted organizations are then contacted to complete a grant application form for potential support.

For more information about OpenRoad Foundation, please visit openroadfoundation.ca.



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