CFKA Fan Mail

Feb 19, 2020 | Community Reports, Featured

Our hearts were warmed to read the following letter from Judi Wyatt, founder of The Poverty Challenge, to Michael Bell. Michael is a former President of the Foundation, served as Chair of our Vital Signs and Community Insights reports for years, and was recently inducted as an Honorary Life Member of the Foundation.   This email shares the story of the impact of Michael’s invitation to Judi to connect with the Foundation just over a year ago. 


December 18, 2019

Dear Michael,

Thank you for inviting me to speak at the 2018 Vital Signs launch to speak about real-life experiences of people living in poverty in Kingston. That invitation led to a domino effect with a wonderful result! Thank you!!!!!!

At the Vital Signs Launch, many in attendance said that they would like to participate in a Poverty Challenge. Last April our tiny volunteer committee provided a Community Foundation Challenge for 100+ members of the community. For the first time, we had participants who are employed by social service agencies, the police, and powerful citizens. This was a great event.

The feedback from the participants of this Poverty Challenge was overwhelmingly positive, with many, many requests that this event become annual.

Tina and Penny asked if an annual Challenge was possible. I explained the limitations of our committee of volunteers, the need for updated profiles, updated agency scripts, an updated on-line toolkit and an up-dated website. We were encouraged to apply for a grant, and The Poverty Challenge received the largest one in this round: more than $24,000!!!

See how the dominoes fell into place because of you???

We are so grateful!

We will hire two part-time staff members in early January.

One person will update materials and coordinate three Challenges in 2020 (a second one for the Community Foundation, one for Queen’s law students, and maybe – likely – a Challenge for students of nursing at St. Lawrence).

Another person will research wrap-around advocacy services for individuals who need help navigating social service silos so that they can return to work. By the end of this year of funding, we intend to submit a proposal to fund a pilot project to prove the financial efficacy of a wrap-around service.

Thank you, Michael!!

Your initial invitation to me to speak at the 2018 Vital Signs launch made it possible for The Poverty Challenge to receive funding to step up to the next level.

Thank you!!

Judi Wyatt

Founder, The Poverty Challenge.

Save The Date

Participate in this experiential learning about living in poverty in our community.

The next Poverty Challenge takes place on April 20, 2020. Registration (required) will be open in shortly!

275 Ontario Street Suite #100
Kingston, ON K7K 2X5
Phone: 613.546.9696
Fax: 613.531.9238

Community Foundation for Kingston & Area