iHeartCommunity Fund Blog

Welcome

Blog: Welcome to the iHeartCommunity Fund

Welcome to the iHeartCommunity Fund blog!  The Fund was created by Heartland Farm Mutual in 2016 and was based on the previous ‘i-Fund’ program which supported local community projects in the Oxford County area.  With our launch of the iHeartCommunity Fund in 2017, its reach was expanded across Ontario. Our intention with this blog is to share the stories of our Fund recipients and hopefully inspire more iHeart in YOUR community.

A Flood of Emotion at Nova’s Ark

Blog: A Flood of Emotion at Nova’s Ark 

On Monday April 9th outside Brooklin ON, we had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful people and animals at Nova's Ark.  I never realized just how emotional I would become upon arrival.

The expansive grounds at Nova’s Ark are home to a wide array of animals and are meant to offer a welcoming, positive environment for youth and adults with special needs. The organization’s founder, Mary-Ann Nova along with volunteer mentors and therapists are committed to providing social and communication opportunities for people of all ages and abilities through interaction with their gentle therapy animals.

Local Food for Local Good Cultivates Happiness

Blog: Local Food for Local Good Cultivates Happiness

Local Food for Local Good works to achieve a positive impact in the communities we serve by increasing awareness of local sustainable food and healthy eating habits, coordinating neighbourhood food networks and advocating for the accessibility and affordability of healthy food for everyone.  Through the support we received through Heartland and iHeartCommunity Fund we were able to run a series of food literacy workshops through our Cultivate School, which educates people about where their food is grown, how they can access it and what they can do with the food that is grown in their community.  Because of this generous gift we were able to offer nearly 10 hours of educational programming reaching nearly 600 people.  Thank you Heartland and the iHeart Community Fund for helping us do good things with local food!

Growing Food and Community in Northern Ontario

Blog: Growing Food and Community in Northern Ontario

At the end of the season in 2016, after 9 years growing vegetables at our original Urban Farm site, Roots to Harvest was given notice by the landowners that they were going to develop the property into small townhomes. Though this had always been a possibility, it was still hard to not feel a little bit at a loss. For 9 years we had developed that site, built the soil and tended the land there. More than that, we had become part of the fabric of the neighbourhood. That site was a space where people from all walks of life came together and a community was strengthened around it. 

Still, the search for a new site began. 

Giving Embro’s Community Spirit a Lift!

Blog: Giving Embro's Community Spirit a Lift!

Saturday, January 20, 2018 marked the first official ride in the new glass elevator at the Embro Olde Town Hall, allowing the building to become an accessible venue for the local Thistle Theatre production group.

The historic structure which also houses the Embro Public Library, is utilized year round for everything from weddings to plays to a local meeting place. Thanks in part to Heartland agent Mary Ellen Garner’s application to the iHeartCommunity Fund, the addition of the elevator means more patrons can attend events held on the upper floors.

iHeart Service Dogs

Blog: iHeart Service Dogs

Many of us already know how our pets can bring us joy and companionship, can often sense our mood and seem to know when we need an extra snuggle.  Now, imagine a dog dedicated and trained to recognize and respond to specific emotional and physical needs.  The effect of such a service dog can be life changing for children who have autism or suffer with epilepsy, or adults struggling with PTSD.  

For this reason, the 2017iHeartCommunity Fund was pleased to include two service dog organizations as fund recipients.  Let’s face it, whose heart isn’t touched seeing those adorable puppies in their working jackets!

We're all kids at heart

Blog: We're All Kids At Heart  

My day started off with a coyote taking a bite out of our iHeart sign during a photo op, then I cozied up to an adorable service dog helping kids and military heroes with the special challenges they faced. I finally made my way to the community of Alexandria, in eastern Ontario.  Along with John from our Brand Marketing department, we met with the broker advocate (Rory and co-worker Alex) and then drove to their recipient project site.  After travelling across country roads (including some gravel) we eventually arrived at the playground in the small community of Dunvegan; rural Ontario at its best!  Amongst beautiful farms, woodlots and picturesque pastoral landscapes, two roads cross and a village thrives. 

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