Back in 1936, at the height of the Depression, the Sunshine Inn, located at the time on Pandora Avenue in Victoria, housed a soup kitchen that fed all those in need.
A Victoria city councillor, Burges Gadsden, strongly believed the city needed to do more to create a sustainable, lasting support system.
And so, with a leap of faith, Gadsden founded The Victoria Foundation.
“It was formed through an act of legislature,” says Sandra Richardson, CEO of the Victoria Foundation. “But they had to have a ‘financial gift’ to start. And that came from his mother, Fanny Gadsden, and the very first gift was $20 dollars. And we have that original letter, that says, ‘oh, that I wish this could be $100 dollars.’ But if you look at that investment of $20 dollars, and look at where the foundation is today, I think Fanny would be very proud.”
Fast-forward 85 years and the Victoria Foundation has more than $400 million dollars in total assets under financial management.
“Community Foundations of Canada often refers to us as the ‘out-of-the-box Foundation,'” says Richardson proudly.
Veronica Cooper sat down with Richardson to learn more about the Victoria Foundation, and how you can help direct where grants are allocated, by filling in the Vital Signs survey.