Endeavouring to fill gaps and meet community needs, the Sylvan Lake Community Partners Association continues to accommodate in-demand programs and services for over two decades.
The organization offers over 20 programs and several annual events to residents of Sylvan Lake, Eckville, Bentley, Benalto and the surrounding rural areas. The non-profit aims to minimize risk factors and bring health and wholeness to at-risk individuals.
“Sylvan Lake is a wonderful community to be in if you are an individual with greater needs. Community Partners seem to be an organization that can meet just about any need and it’s exciting to be a part of it,” said executive director Donna Ellerby.
Running on an annual budget of nearly $150,000, the organization comprises five staff, nine board members and a team of over 30 volunteers, which is always looking to expand. Community donations and grants received from the local, provincial or federal governments fund the organization.
Starting with a few family education initiatives put together by a group of concerned citizens in 1998, the organization has since grown into a multi-program agency. The social organization qualified for a charity status in 2004.
Community Partners serviced over 12,200 families during the last fiscal year ending in March.
While COVID-19 posed several challenges, the standalone organization remained open and pivoted to remote communications and contact-less exchange.
Medi-Lend, Compassion Fund and the taxi program are some of the most popular services offered.
Through a needs assessment conducted following the inauguration of the Sylvan Lake Advanced Ambulatory Care, Community Partners put together the Medi-Lend program to loan out medical equipment. Wheelchairs, shower care, medical boots, crutches, canes, and knee rollers are some equipment offered.
The Compassion Fund offers support to those in a financial crisis and the taxi program offers free essential rides for individuals in need.
Infant/Toddler Food Bank, Information and referral, Community Christmas Dinner, Free Family Swim and Community Garage Sale are among the other programs offered.
All programs are offered out of the Community Partners office at 4936-50 Ave., with an exception of the thrift store that is operated at 5026 50 St.
Ellerby says the initiative is made possible with donations and support from the community.
“We will continue to reach out to individuals in the community that are in need.”
For more information visit sylvancpa.ca.