OAFC partners with Jenny’s Heroes Canada
By Grant Cameron
TV personality Jenny Jones is working with the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) to offer up to $25,000 to help a volunteer fire department purchase new safety gear, equipment or technology.
Jones, who is best known for hosting a nationally syndicated talk show until 2003, grew up in London, Ont., and wanted to give back to her home province.
She got in touch with the OAFC in May and launched the Jenny’s Heroes Canada Equipment Grant through the Jenny Jones Foundation.
A program called Jenny’s Heroes has donated close to $2 million to communities across 50 states in the U.S.
“I have a profound respect for anyone who chooses a life of service to the community, even more so when the risksare great,” Jones said in a statement.
Grant submissions opened July 23 and close Friday, Aug. 31. The successful applicant will be selected by Sept. 24.
Applications will be reviewed by a validation committee from the OAFC and shared with Jenny’s Heroes Canada.
OAFC executive director Richard Boyes is encouraging all volunteer fire departments to make grant submissions. Notices have been sent to all departments across the province.
“This is very unique, especially in Ontario, that someone comes along and does this,” he said. “There’s been nothing like this to the best of my knowledge.”
Boyes said Jones reached out to the OAFC out of the blue and “the next thing I knew I was on the phone with Jenny and she said, ‘Okay, this is just what I’m looking for.’
“She wants to help out a department that needs it. She wants to make a difference in the community. That’s what she wants to do.”
Boyes said the OAFC will validate the requests, but it will be up to Jones which department gets the money.
“We’ll help facilitate it, but it will be Jenny’s decision at the end of the day. It’s her money, so she has the ultimate say.”
Boyes said volunteer fire departments in Ontario have many needs and it will be up to the applicants to make a compelling case as to how the equipment will make a difference.
To be eligible and considered for a grant, volunteer departments must be a fire department in Ontario, either municipal or regulated by a fire services board, whose full complement of suppression firefighters are volunteer-based. Only one grant request application per fire department is permitted.
For a list of the full requirements and to download an application form go to http://www.oafc.on.ca/jennys-heroes-canada-supporting-volunteer-firefighters-across-ontario.
Questions regarding the grant can be sent to Michelle O’Hara at email@example.com or by calling 905-426-9865, extension 222.