In 2008, Canada Post established The Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health to provide financial support for deserving front-line charities and not for profit organizations. The funds raised to make these gifts possible were the result of the generous donations of Canada Post staff and customers at retail outlets - as well as the surcharge from Canadian Mental Health semi-postal stamps. To date, more than $6.7 million in grants have been distributed to some 140 organizations across Canada.
This year, Canada Post will build on its long and proud history of investing in the communities it serves through its charitable and volunteer activities - and transfer its efforts from mental health issues to children's charities.
According to Cindy Daoust, Manager of Canada Post's Community Investment Program, "Our efforts have provided funding and support for a wide variety of important initiatives in the area of mental health, literacy and the United Way. We've raised funds and awareness. We also want to build on the incredible efforts of employees who support the Santa Letter-writing Program every year. So our plans are to continue our involvement with children throughout the calendar year."
The renamed Canada Post Community Foundation will focus on supporting children's charities, school programs and local initiatives - including organizations that provide mental health initiatives aimed at youth. Canada Post hopes to develop an engaging and compelling connection with children's causes in the communities where postal employees work - which is almost every community in the nation.
As the Corporation's charitable focus shifts to youth, so does the inspiration for the annual fundraising semi-postal. This year's stamp, designed by Debbie Adams, Principal at Adams + Associates, carries a 10-cent surcharge that goes directly to the work of the Foundation.
According to Adams, "The design is a simple circle of children's hands, depicted in vivid colours. Multi-coloured hands represent the diversity and breadth of the need to help children's charities. The heart represents the generosity of Canadians investing in the future of Canada."
Not only does this call to mind childhood circle games, it also implies inclusivity, and giving a hand or holding a hand in assistance.