Local Energy Provider Committed to Supporting Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club
To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for Fort McMurray would be an understatement.
In March, residents and businesses were faced with a province-wide shut down to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Just over a month later, Fort McMurray and the surrounding area were faced with flooding that is estimated to have caused over $100 million in damages.
But It’s not just Fort McMurray residents and businesses who are struggling. Local non-profit organizations and charities are also facing hard times. One such organization is the Fort McMurray Boys and Girls Club (FMBGC), a charity that has been serving the children and youth of Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo region since 1981 by providing a safe and fun place to learn, play, and grow.
The FMBGC was already in crisis before the flood. In December of 2019, the Government of Alberta announced cutbacks to the Benefit Contribution Grant and Staff Attraction Incentive Program.
Another significant loss came in March 2020, when Early Child Educators from the North Zone learned they would be losing their living allowance, which meant a loss of $12,480 annually per income – an incentive that provided staff with a livable wage in the region. To retain quality staff, childcare centres will have to make up the difference, which could mean massive childcare fee increases for the Wood Buffalo area in the future.
Like many other organizations in Alberta, in March, efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve forced the FMBGC to shut their doors and lay off staff.
“Not only did that mean we could not operate our childcare centre,” said Michelle Farrow, Executive Director of FMBGC. “But it also meant the cancellation of two major fundraising events, and potentially any ability to host upcoming events in the foreseeable future – including the Race for Kids, one of our staple events in the community.”
Between the loss of its fundraisers and grants (which account for 75% of its annual income) and the indefinite closure of childcare services (which also brought in a small amount of childcare fees), the FMBGC has experienced a massive financial setback.
Local Community Coming Together to Support FMBGC
In an effort to give back to his local community and an organization close to his heart, Malcolm Setter, Fort McMurray resident and owner of Get Energy, has decided to help the FMBGC in a number of ways.
Get Energy, a local electricity and natural gas provider, has committed to a one-time donation of $2,500 to the FMBGC, and will share its revenues from all customers who sign up for service over the next three months with the Club indefinitely.
“We view Get Energy as an incredible, community-minded organization, and these are the types of companies we align ourselves with,” said Farrow. “This level of generosity is simply amazing! It shows just how dedicated Get Energy is to our organization and how they support our values.”
Setter hopes to enroll 125 new customers per month in July, August, and September, which could generate $1,500 a month in recurring revenue for the Club.
It is simple for Fort McMurray residents to enroll for energy services to help support the FMBGC. Visit the Get Energy website, enter your information, and build an energy plan that is right for your household. Any customers who sign up during this three month period will automatically have the FBGC assigned as the designated charity on their account.
“The residents of Fort McMurray have certainly seen more than our fair share of challenges,” said Setter. “What has kept my spirits high during these difficult times is seeing the volunteerism and support that our community provides for each other when we are down. That is why I love this community so much, no matter what the situation is, we are generous and resilient.”
Aside from knowing that a portion of what you pay for energy is helping to support such a worthy organization, benefits of switching your energy services to Get Energy include:
- No Contracts: switch rates or cancel at any time, penalty free.
- Local Customer Care: Located in Calgary, Alberta.
- Customer Centric Programs: Including budget billing plans, the ability to pick the date you pay for your energy invoices, green energy options, and more.
Providing a Safe and Fun Place to Learn, Play, and Grow
In operation for almost 40 years, the FMBGC provides a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills for life.
“It was a no-brainer to want to support the FMBGC. The Club fills a gap in our community by providing a number of programs for our children and youth that encourage growth and positivity. I have nothing but great memories of my youth attending a Boys and Girls Club in Kingston, Ontario.”
The Club provides challenging activities that encourage healthy living, personal growth, learning, and community involvement through its three main programs:
- Tiny Toes Daycare (ages 1-4.5): A fully licensed and accredited Alberta Early Learning and Childcare provider, which is staffed by childcare professionals who are trained and passionate about their profession.
- ZAP Out-of-School Care and Summer Camps (ages Kindergarten to 12): Provides high quality and affordable childcare and inclusive care programs that are both enriching and supportive for children, families, staff and community.
- Drop-in and Outreach Youth Programs (ages 13-17): Providing youth within Fort McMurray access to skill-building, inclusive, leadership, and recreational programs that give them the tools and confidence to become successful adults.
Aside from signing up for electricity and natural gas from Get Energy, there are many other ways you can do your part to help support the FMBGC including:
- Volunteer. The Club regularly posts its opportunities on WBVolunteers
- Share their social media posts. The more visibility the FMBGC gets, the better! (Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
- Hold 3rd party fundraisers. Contact ED@fmbgc.ca to learn more.
Recycle for a cause. Drop your bottles off at Green Bottle Depot and donate them to the FMBGC account.