At Sentry, we recognize the importance of investing in the communities in which we work and do business. Our focus is on investing in children and youth by helping to provide access to sport, recreation and learning, especially for those living in high-risk communities. We are committed to investing in their future and believe strongly that children and youth deserve the opportunity to do great things.
As a reflection of our generous community spirit, and in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Sentry created our own ‘Canada 150’ initiative. Through this program, Sentry employees across Canada are volunteering a combined 150 business hours per quarter this year for charitable organizations within the communities that we live and work.
“Sentry has a proud history of providing financial support to amazing organizations that invest in the future of young people and help give them the opportunity to do great things for our communities,” said Philip Yuzpe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sentry. “But money can only do so much. With our Canada 150 program we’re extending our community commitment by rolling up our sleeves and getting actively involved.”
“We’re providing a substantial number of volunteer hours to help organizations continue delivering the amazing services and programs that make such a big impact in the community,” noted Gena Chan, Vice-President, Human Resources. “This hands-on approach will allow us to provide broader assistance, while also helping us better appreciate the level of need that exists and the difference that each of us can make.”
• September 2017 – 16 Sentry employees spent the day helping out at Daily Bread Food Bank. Together, they packaged up 4,600 pounds of food for distribution to other local food banks. To complement that effort, employees ran a week long food drive and also raised $600 in cash to donate to the organization.
• August 2017 – 15 Sentry employees spent the afternoon chipping in at the launch of the Chalkfarm Tennis Program in Toronto. The community focused program for at-risk youth, is being sponsored by Spider Jones Believe to Achieve organization. Our employees were glad to be part of the launch and help out with the celebratory BBQ and other activities.
• June 2017 – 28 Sentry employees spent the afternoon at the Regent Park Community Celebration in Toronto, helping run a variety of fun activities for local kids and families. The Celebration, which was hosted by the MLSE Foundation, also featured cheque presentations to several local charity groups through a Regent Park focused fund that was set up by the Foundation and supported by Sentry.
• March 2017 – 30 Sentry employees spent the afternoon putting together meals for, and interacting with, the amazing kids that use the mentoring services provided by the Spider’’s Web Children and Youth Empowerment Centre in Toronto (learn more about that organization below). View CTV’s coverage of the event.
The Spider’s Web Children and Youth Empowerment Centre was founded by Spider Jones, Canadian journalist, author, and former professional boxer, to provide a safe environment for at-risk youth in Toronto’s Black Creek community, one of the city’s most diverse and underserved neighbourhoods.
After previously providing funding to completely renovate and modernize the facility and provide nutrition and additional after-school programs for the children, in 2017 Sentry renewed our support by providing an additional $150,000 donation to cover the Centre’s operational and programming costs for the year. Sentry also donated 20 laptops that are being used in the Centre’s after-school programs.
The Centre provides important after school support to local young people and offers them mentoring in math, literacy, drama, public speaking, music and boxing. It also empowers participants to be active and healthy, show community spirit, make friends and develop lasting leadership skills.
“Because of the generosity and compassion of Sentry Investments, which has invested in our children and youth, their dreams can truly become reality.” said Jones.“ Sentry is in the fight with us to keep kids engaged and off the streets through access to a safe environment that provides the basic life skills to children and youth at risk.”
Sentry Investments and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) are donating $65,000 to support the youth of Toronto’s St. James Town, one of the youngest, most diverse and most in-need areas in Canada.
The financial assistance will help Community Matters, a local charity group whose goal is to provide sustainable active-living programming to children and youth in the neighbourhood. Specifically, the funds will expand the reach of its neighbourhood after-school program and broaden key elements such as its “Learn to Swim” classes.
With more than 30,000 people and 67 cultures represented in its small community, St. James Town has a large number of children that will now have a greater opportunity to benefit from the Community Matters program.
BOOST Child & Youth Advocacy Centre is a community-based agency committed to eliminating abuse and violence in the lives of children, youth and their families. Sentry has contributed resources in support of this critical organization, which works tirelessly to improve the lives of the hundreds of children, youth, parents and caregivers who walk through its doors each year looking for help.
We understand the key to success is to invest with the long term firmly in mind. That’s why we’re proud to partner with MLSE Foundation (the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment) to invest in sustainable programs at the new sports facilities in Regent Park – a priority neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. This initiative is Sentry’s flagship community program, and also establishes Sentry as an official partner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Air Canada Centre and MLSE.
The Regent Park initiative supports wider revitalization efforts underway in Regent Park by Toronto Community Housing, the City of Toronto, residents and neighbours, and private development partners. This project has already created more than 700 jobs for Regent Park residents, and is expected to benefit 2,600 children and youth.
The Regent Park Athletic Grounds is now complete. It is 2.8 acres (1.1 hectare) in size with facilities including a refurbished hockey rink, new basketball court, new soccer and cricket pitch, and a running track.