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United Way Lloydminster distributes donations focused on mental health and youth well-being

Several organizations in and around the Border City are receiving a helping hand from United Way Lloydminster and District.

A total $41,000 went out to community groups and programs focused on improving the mental health of children, adult and senior residents in the community as well as some aimed at supporting the well-being of children. The funding comes from private donations by Rife Resources Ltd., the International Petroleum Corp. and other businesses.

Eleven programs were chosen which included the LRHF Project Sunrise and Seniors mental health program, both school divisions breakfast programs and mental health programs, Momentum Volleyball, Kitscoty Minor Hockey, the Lloydminster Rescue Squad, the Lloydminster Sexual Assault Services and the Olive Tree.

Brent Thomas, LPSD Superintendent of Education, says the donation of $4083.33 will go towards enhancing the Shine program which focuses on the mental health of students and children.

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“The goal of the program is to positively and proactively reach our kids and support them with some of the things they were dealing with before the pandemic and also during the pandemic. Now more than ever we are seeing a need to support our students and provide them with strategies on how to deal with stress and how to be more resilient as they deal with these challenging times.”

LCSD also received the same amount for the Shine program as it is a partnership between both LPSD and LCSD.

Cory Gratton, Coach Coordinator and Manager of Momentum Volleyball, says they expected to see some interruption for school programs this year and started the program for children in Grades 5 to 12 in the fall. He says they’ve received an overwhelming amount of support and the donation will help pay for equipment costs.

“When things went down in March and sports halted for kids, the short break was nice, but the extended break I think really helped us, families, coaches and parents, realize just how important those extracurricular opportunities are for kids. It provides purpose and direction and it’s important that we do what we can to keep those things operational.”

Throughout the year, United Way Lloydminster and District has distributed over $460,000 in donations and government funding to non-profit groups and organizations in the city and surrounding areas.

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