Charity delivers much needed supplies during COVID-19.
The AIA High Fives for Kids Foundation has announced a contribution of $24,000 to local food banks across Canada to support children and families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent years, the Foundation has accelerated its mandate to provide support for kids in smaller communities across the Canada.
Ray Proulx, Senior Marketing Manager, KYB Americas, who took over the role of High Fives for Kids chairman two years ago, says that partnering with AIA Canada has allowed the foundation to spread awareness by creating a dedicated website—aiahighfivesforkids.ca, as well as outreach through social media channels.
“We want to make sure that the foundation’s brand is out there and that people notice we are making a difference on behalf of AIA and the automotive industry,” says Proulx. He notes that, “from the beginning, the emphasis was on making a difference on behalf of the automotive industry and to focus on smaller charities in smaller communities. We look for AIA members, be it a jobber, distributor or service provider that have a worthy cause in their community and, as long as it is a registered charity, we’ll review it and then make a donation based on our criteria.”
Regarding the latest initiative, Proulx says the decision was made during the AIA Annual General Meeting which due to COVID-19, was conducted virtually this year.
“We realize that we’ve been able to make a positive impact on kids charities over the years and we felt, what could we do to help kids and families today?” The answer was to make a major donation to food banks and the decision was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors, which includes Steve Bujold from Vast Auto; Dave Fifield of Wakefield Canada; Joe Mercanti, WORLDPAC Canada, Mike Rutherford of OK Tire and Zara Wishloff of APD Edmonton.
“We voted on giving away $24,000 and that was based on eight AIA divisions providing $3000 each and they would select the children’s food bank (which has to be registered) and they would make the donation directly to them,” says Proulx.
A letter is sent out to each AIA Division explaining the guidelines and a letter and a cheque is sent to the chosen charity. “A photo is taken of the cheque presentation and we ask the charities send these images back to us so we can post them on our website and social media,” says Proulx.
In summarizing, Proulx says, “a lot of family breadwinners have been laid off due to COVID-19 and government cheques aren’t going to last forever. When we start returning to normal, people will need to get back to work and we thought the timing right now was ideal to help in any way we could.”