About this year’s COP Grant Recipients

  • http://www.ralphthornton.org/riverdale-adventure-camp-more-spots-available/

Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention

Black CAP award
Black CAP is highly focused on supporting the needs of LGBTQ newcomers from Africa and the Caribbean, and has been a leader in Toronto’s HIV movement for more than 25 years. Over the past year Black CAP has, among many other accomplishments, provided services and supports to 391 individual clients living with HIV or AIDS, and served 438 individual refugee claimants and convention refugees from Africa and the Caribbean.

The COP grant will be used to support the delivery costs of two monthly groups, Foreign Integration and Rainbow Sistas. Both groups provide a safe and welcoming space where LGBTQ refugees from Africa and the Caribbean can participate in conversations about their specific settlement needs and challenges. Like MCC, Black CAP is highly committed to the LGBTQ community on every level. This includes social inclusion, social justice, anti-homophobia, and settlement. Black CAP and MCC collaborate in the delivery of services to LGBTQ refugees and newcomers.

Vita Community Living Services

Vita Community Living Services works to enhance quality of life for people living with intellectual disabilities and other mental illnesses by promoting community and providing a safe and respectful environment.

Users of Vita’s Casa Abruzzo Day services / Learning You Program have been asking for a space where they can enjoy entertainment and social time in comfort, and also use the internet and social media in safety. The COP grant will help to create a comfortable seated multi-purpose media room equipped with computers, internet, music, large screen TV and/or projector and projector screen, journals, magazines, and books. Vita also offers workshops in internet safety to its vulnerable clients, so they can join the online community with confidence.

Vita won the 2013 and 2014 Voluntary Sector Reporting Award, bestowed by Queen’s University School of Business, and won the United Way York Region Partner Agency Spirit Award last year. Also, as their representatives made sure to tell us, Vita was the first organization for people with intellectual disabilities to march in the Pride Parade in support of LGBTQ rights!

The Ecumenical Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto (ECUT)


On Sunday July 5, we were delighted to award a COP grant to the Ecumenical Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto (ECUT). The grant will support Qu(e)erying Religion, a program founded by ECUT chaplain Ralph Carl Wushke and a group of University of Toronto students in 2005.

The QR slogan is, “Where queerness intersects with spiritualities and faiths at the University of Toronto.”
Since 2005 the lives of hundreds of students of faith have been touched in life-giving ways by QR.

Ralph Carl Wuschke is a United Church of Canada minister, and ECUT is a joint Presbyterian and United Church ministry.

Ralph Thornton Centre and Riverdale Adventure Camp

Since 1990, the Ralph Thornton Centre, in partnership with the Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre and Woodgreen Community Services, has offered their popular free children’s summer day camp, Riverdale Adventure Camp. This year, the Centre applied for a COP grant with a plan to expand camp services to better include the LGBT community. This would provide an opportunity to lessen the isolation of children from LGBTQ families, to provide them with a summer experience among peers from similar backgrounds and facing similar opportunities and challenges, and to promote networking and connection among not only the children, but also, hopefully, their families. If successful, this initiative will be continued, and possibly expanded, in years to come.

The Ralph Thornton Centre has added 8 spots at camp for kids from LGBT families, and has also hired one of the Triangle Program students as a counselor. We share their belief that kids can only benefit from an “assertively inclusive” environment.

Want to sign your child(ren) up for Riverdale Adventure Camp? The full-day camp is offered Monday through Friday from June 29 to August 21. Registration is for one week at a time – children can sign up for up to four weeks. For information & to register, call Maria: 416.392.6810 ext 225.

Your Community Outreach Program Grant donations have made this offer possible!