March 31, 2017
Women across the city are leading creative programs that build community, thanks to grants from spark, a United Way women’s initiative. Spark has invested more than $80,000 in 28 resident-led projects in Ottawa.
Debra is one of these resident leaders. She saw the need for a program that provides healthy meals and social interaction to people in the Russell Gardens community, so she started Soup Warms the Soul, a program funded by spark.
“Soup warms the soul ensures that people are eating. If you eat, and you’re healthy and meeting people in the neighbourhood, it adds safety and breaks isolation,” said Debra.
What is spark?
Through spark, women collectively invest their donations into the sparkFund and allocate Community Action Grants to resident-led, grassroots initiatives serving Ottawa’s at-risk neighbourhoods. Spark members learn the needs of our community, assess and score proposals submitted by residents, and vote collectively on which projects to support.
“It’s women investing in women, supporting women,” said Evelyn, spark Ottawa member. “Many of us are not able to get out there and do the hands-on work but we have a passion for wanting to give back to the community.”