by Rhonda Massad
West Island Community Shares, Nova West Island and Becket Players Foundation were happy to receive a sizeable donation from Merck’s Neighbour of Choice fund. The program was established in the 1990’s to build a relationship with local non-profit organizations and residents in the communities where Merck head offices are located.
West Island Communities Shares (WICS) devotes funds to 40 organizations on the West Island every year.
“We address a wide variety of groups on the West Island, ” WICS Executive Director Leanne Bayer explained. “From food banks to youth in crisis to women who are victims of abuse. Merck’s contribution will go a long way to meeting our goal this year.”
NOVA West Island is a community-based, volunteer-run health-care organization that offers services including palliative home care, an adult day center and a support group for children in crisis.
The Becket Players Foundation is a federally chartered, long-standing, non-profit organization dedicated the advancement of the performing arts in the West Island community of Montreal.
“This year we are putting all of our efforts towards West Island Association for Intellectual Handicapped’s project for the Kizmet Centre,” Becket Players Joey Savatierre explained, “A young child and parent center located right here on the West Island. A place where young children will be given the lifelong advantages provided by a growing up in a vibrant supportive family withing a caring community. This award will help make the Kizmet Centre a reality.”
Mr. Chirfi Guindo, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada pointed out in his speech that though the money was an important factor in Merck’s commitment to the community, volunteer hours from Merck staff mean just as much.
“We have committed to 5,000 hours of community service,” Guindo said proudly, “we have a month and a half to go, so let us know what you need and how we can help this community.”