Last year alone, the Victoria Foundation granted more than $20 million to vital organizations and initiatives across Greater Victoria.

Some of those grants, that make a huge difference to a community, were just $500 or less, because they were Neighbourhood Small Grants.

Elaina Mack, a parent at Oaklands Elementary School, applied for one of those grants to organize a Walking School Bus.

“My neighbour Liz Poppy and I,” said Mack, “decided to apply to the Victoria Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grant, in collaboration with Oaklands Community Association.”

“We really thought it was an amazing opportunity to create community with children.”

The grant provides up to $500 for residents to develop projects in their neighbourhoods.

“It’s wonderful to be part of contributing to the vitality of Victoria neighbourhoods” says Mack.

Caitlin Davies is another Oaklands Elementary parent, who walks with her kids and the Walking School Bus.

“We really value all the things that a close neighbourhood and a close community has to offer,” says Davies, “and so this project has just been another one of those opportunities for our kids to feel what it’s like to be part of a community.”

Mack estimates that more than 100 kids and parents have hopped on board the Oaklands Walking School Bus.

“To see the pride in the eyes of the kids,” says Mack, “to really see that they can contribute to the community while having fun and getting exercise, and keeping some cars off the road…it is a big success!”

If you have a vision for your community, consider applying for a Victoria Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grant.

Veronica Cooper