“Such amazing support and opportunities are provided through your organization. I have seen first-hand how HLF has been a valuable support for the students and families I have worked with over the years.”

– Kate Diell, HDSB Principal

Since 2004

HLF has helped level the playing field and provided learning opportunities for tens of thousands of students of the Halton District School Board.

REPORT FROM THE CHAIR & CEO

A Year of Living – and Learning – Differently

How does a charity tasked with eliminating financial barriers for students fulfill its work when schools are closed and kids are learning remotely? The answer: “Differently!”

Online learning during the pandemic was certainly a challenge for students and teachers in 2020-2021, and it also proved uniquely challenging for HLF. How would teachers identify students in need if they weren’t seeing them in person? How would we deliver HLF gift cards to families? How would we continue to raise funds and connect with donors?

HLF Board Chair Anne Cesak (left) and CEO Lesley Mansfield.

Those challenges provided an opportunity for HLF to be creative last year:

• HLF embraced technology as never before. Working remotely, we implemented an online application process so HDSB staff could more easily request emergency support for students. We also introduced virtual gift cards that could be delivered to students or their families via email, and used to purchase needed items online or in store. We learned the joys and pitfalls of Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom with the inevitable “You’re still on mute”.

• With traditional fundraisers on hold, HLF devised creative ways to raise funds, including our ‘gala in a box’ Smile Boxes, which were delivered to the doors of 200 recipients across Halton.

• HLF hosted five virtual Tax and Estate Planning sessions with over 100 participants, in partnership with Joan Cosby (CFP, Assante Wealth Management). The sessions were a tremendous opportunity for our donors to learn how they could reduce their taxes and leave more money for loved ones in their estate plans while still supporting favourite charities, including HLF.

• Despite limited opportunities to meet in person, we continued to develop and nurture partnerships with HDSB staff, and some incredible Halton organizations that provided critical support for students and for HLF’s operations.

Thanks to our community’s generosity, HLF was able to continue its operations uninterrupted and support students throughout the school year. That generosity, combined with the prudent oversight of our Finance & Audit Committee, allowed HLF to fully retain its reserve funds – a notable achievement for a small charity during the pandemic.

Even though the amount of support HLF provided to students and schools was a bit lower than normal last year due to school closures, HLF – and YOU – continued to make a difference for kids. With your help, we are ready to do more. HLF has set a goal to provide emergency financial support for an additional 500 students over the next few years, and to increase funding for school engagement grants by almost 10%. Based on our results throughout the pandemic, we know we are up for the challenge!

Thank you for allowing us to dream big and help improve the quality of life and educational outcomes for thousands of students every year.

INVESTING IN STUDENTS

Through the Eliminating Barriers to Learning Fund

Food & other necessities – 1,203 students

Learning opportunities – 10 students

Transportation – 17 students

Post-secondary applications – 14 students

1,244 STUDENTS

Pencil - Donation Impact
2020 - 2021

1,400 STUDENTS

Pencil - Donation Impact
2019 - 2020

1,187 STUDENTS

Pencil - Donation Impact
2018 - 2019

HLF Helps Secure Student’s Future

Chase comes from a low-income family and could not afford the necessary gear to take part in a co-op placement at a manufacturing plant. Financial support from HLF allowed Chase to purchase steel-toed boots so he could participate in this learning opportunity, as well as the warm winter jacket that he needed in order to get there. Chase completed his coop credits for school – a huge success for him — and he impressed his workplace so much that the company has offered him a full-time job at the end of the school year!

FROM AN AWARD OR POST-SECONDARY SCHOLARSHIP

96 STUDENTS

2020 - 2021

85 STUDENTS

2019 - 2020

91 STUDENTS

2018 - 2019

Scholarship Funds Support Focus on Learning

“Lina had a difficult home life throughout her early teens, caught between two warring, divorced parents. She was bullied at school, suffered from depression, and her grades plummeted. She used her own savings to hire a tutor and pass her courses. After coming to Canada in 2017 to live with a relative, Lina focused on rebuilding her life and her mental health. With determination and resilience, she averaged 94% in her graduating year, while juggling an impressive number of volunteer hours in support of community initiatives.

An HLF scholarship donor rewarded Lina’s impressive achievements with a four-year university scholarship, which is taking some of the financial pressure off of her post-secondary career.

“This award is allowing me to fully focus on my university courses, and providing me with more time to volunteer and become fully engaged with my community. I’ll never forget your support. Thank you for believing in me.”

BENEFITTED FROM SCHOOL SUPPORT
FUNDS THROUGH HLF

18 SCHOOLS

2020 - 2021

43 SCHOOLS

2019 - 2020

61 SCHOOLS

2018 - 2019

SIMULATION SOFTWARE OFFERS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

A donation from Siemens allowed close to 5,000 students at all HDSB high schools a unique opportunity last year to create, develop and invent using interactive simulation software, which kids could access regardless of whether they were learning virtually or in-class. Four different software programs allowed teachers to deliver authentic, experiential learning opportunities for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students to collect data, complete hands-on training and develop specialized skillsets.

FINANCIALS AT A GLANCE

REVENUE

*(Canadian emergency wage subsidy provided to HLF
during the pandemic.)

INVESTMENTS IN STUDENTS

**(School support is made up of direct funding and school engagement grants. School support declined over the past two years as engagement grants were put on hold due to school closures.)

View full financial results here.

WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES

HLF IN THE COMMUNITY

HLF staff delivered 200 Smile Boxes to donors across Halton in 2020.

Organizations of all sizes stepped up last year to help support students.

HLF hosted a golf tournament to raise funds for a scholarship in memory of Mike Shepherd, former HLF Board Chair & committee member.

HLF BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Anne Cesak
Chair
HR Consultant

Manon Dulude
First Vice Chair
Registered Psychotherapist & Executive Coach,
Forge Coaching & Consulting

Kim Phillips
Second Vice Chair
Community Member

Damian Andrews
Treasurer
Partner,
BLR

Cheryl Goldring
Community Member

Marie-Therese Houde
President,
See It Forward Consulting

Nick Klip
Operations Manager, Hamilton/Halton,
Enbridge

Bob Elliot
Director, Government Relations,
Burlington Chamber of Commerce

Nicole Stuart
HR Country Head Canada, GSK

Stuart Miller
Director of Education,
Halton District School Board (retired July 2021)

Lesley Mansfield
Chief Executive Officer,
Halton Learning Foundation

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