(Pickering, Ontario) – First Durham Insurance & Financial Ltd. has introduced their Possibilities Grant, where over the course of five years, they will donate $5,000 to a family with a disabled child under the age of 18 through a contribution to an RESP or RDSP.  Nominations will be accepted starting today through September 15th.

The First Durham Possibilities Grant was developed to celebrate the stories of young people who have raised awareness of children with disabilities while at the same time recognizing the financial challenges that the families of these incredible kids often face. Dependant on household income, $5,000 contributed to an RDSP can generate up to $20,000 in savings after government grants are applied. These grants can be as high as 3:1 for the first $500.

“For families who have a child with special needs oftentimes the short term costs related to managing a child’s disability limit their ability to invest in RESP’s or RDSP’s,” said First Durham VP, Bryan Yetman. “From time to time, in the face of incredible adversity, kids can do amazing things that demonstrate their full unbridled potential. Their stories inspire us.”

The grant will be awarded on October 15th, 2013 at Grandview Children’s Centre in Oshawa, which has been chosen as the backdrop for their presentation. Grandview has served Durham Region’s children with disabilities Durham Region for 60 years and is the only children’s treatment centre in the Region.  Their current facility was built in 1983 and designed to serve 400 children, but in 2013, they serve over 5,500. Due to a lack of Government funding and space, over 1,500 children are currently on a waitlist and can wait up to one year for treatment.

“We are touched by the generosity of First Durham who has made a significant commitment to support kids with disabilities and their families.  As we move toward the fall we will be making a call to action to all residents and businesses within Durham Region to rally behind Grandview as we launch our capital campaign to build the future.” says Lorraine Sunstrum-Mann, Executive Director for Grandview.

Through combination of government funding and community support, The Government of Ontario announced approval to build new Children Treatment Centres in Hamilton and Peel in 2010.  It is now time for approval in Durham. “Our number one priority is to build to meet the growing demand so that Durham’s kids with disabilities and special needs are able to get the treatment they deserve,” adds Sunstrum-Mann.

“Grandview changes the lives of the kids with disabilities and we hope this Grant will result in the sharing of these incredible stories and amplify the great work that Grandview does inspiring local people to lend their financial support to the Centre,” Adds Yetman.

Nominations can be submitted on behalf of an individual that meets the following criteria:

  • The nominee has been inspirational in their efforts to raise awareness of children with special needs;
  • is under 18 years of age;
  • resides in Durham Region; and
  • has a disability or a sibling with a disability

Nominations can be made by completing a simple application form which is available for download on First Durham’s Website, www.firstdurham.com or for more information please email possibilities@firstdurham.com.