The Fort Frances Community Chest started out by holding an annual charity dinner, at La Place Rendezvous, where proceeds from the evening were given to one family who was dealing with a major medical emergency.
We operated that way successfully, for a number of years, until 2000, when one of the recipient families returned a substantial amount of unused funds to us, after their family member had passed away. After much discussion we decided to create a pool of money to help many families, rather than focussing on one or two cases each year.
Over the following several years, with the help of: La Place Rendezvous, Fort Frances Kiwanis Club, Fort Frances Lions Club, Knights of Columbus Council 2766, Legion Auxiliary B29, and The Spirit of Christmas event, we were able to bank enough funds to help many people each year and we've being doing so ever since.
The Fort Frances Community Chest is entirely a volunteer-based organization. Our mission is to help residents of the Rainy River District with emergency medical needs. We are truly a community-based organization and all our monies remain in the Rainy River District.
The Town of Fort Frances manages our funds, dispenses our cheques, and provides income tax receipts for donations of $20 or more. Our financial statements are published each year, generally at our annual dinner, and they will be published on this site in the future.
All of our funds are donated, from the communities within the Rainy River District, in a variety of ways, such as: "In memory/honour of" donations, birthday donations, bowling/golf tournaments, charitable donations, other events and fundraisers (auctions, garage sales, BBQs, concerts, bazaars, and more), and every bit helps.
We are lucky to be part of such a supportive and generous community.
How does it work?
The Fort Frances Community Chest should be used as a last resort. We do not provide assistance when there is another entity that should be utilized first (call us, and we will explain).
The request needs to be made by an immediate family member, or by the patient himself/herself. We do not solicit or call families in need, and all we ask for is a "please and thank you" to be made to the community.
Cheques are written by the Town of Fort Frances and can be picked up at the town hall during business hours. Any funds received do not have to be repaid, however, we have found that, over the years, most recipients have given back in many ways, often giving back more than they received, and many having attended and supported Community Chest functions.
Our monies are primarily used for emergency needs such as: lodging, food, and transportation. We do not pay bills and never disperse funds after-the-fact.
As a courtesy we had previously been covering the cost of travel grants, in advance. We realized, as new rules were implemented, that we were not always getting our full advanced funds returned to us, and as a result (since we are bound to be responsible with our donated funds), we decided to only cover travel grants, upfront, in emergency situations. We apologize, but it is a necessary change.
Who have we helped?
Cancer patients, preemies and newborns, transplant patients, accident victims, and more! Your support is going toward a worthy cause by relieving the financial stress of patients and their families, during these medical emergencies.
Contact Joelle 274-7008 or Linda 274-8782 for help and donations.