NORTH PERTH – Council agreed during its May 17 meeting to become the qualified donee for funding received from the United Way Perth Huron towards the renovation of The Village Table for the operation of a warming centre in Listowel.
Three years ago, Darryl and Ann Voskamp purchased the old Anglican Church located at 295 Main St. W. in Listowel.
“We purchased the building with a deep desire to serve our community, by providing a place where those in need can find food and fellowship in a safe, warm environment,” they wrote in a letter to North Perth council. “We have given it the name, ‘The Village Table’ as a way of representing our vision.”
The Voskamps explained that much work needs to be done to install washrooms, showers and a kitchen.
“Recently, we have learned that the United Way and a few local churches would like to donate funds to The Village Table to help us complete these renovations in time to open this fall,” they wrote.
They received a notice back from the government recently requesting more information for their application for charitable status and were told that the process can take another six months.
“This is where we are hoping that the municipality could help us,” wrote the Voskamps. “We have learned that the municipality could serve as a qualified donor on our behalf, to receive funds from these organizations and forward them on to us. This arrangement would only need to be in place until we receive charitable status for The Village Table.”
Ryan Erb, executive director of the United Way Perth Huron, said the United Way is prepared to receive donations related to renovations that will support the operation of a warming centre on-site. They will be funding the operation of the program through the Salvation Army and providing an additional $10,000 for renovations from its existing budget primarily raised through the recent Coldest Night of the Year event.
Renovation costs will exceed $10,000. The United Way cannot pay contractors for the work because they are required to only give to charities, not-for-profits or qualified donees.
North Perth can act as the qualified donee.
The municipality has functioned as the qualified donee for community projects funded by the Stratford Perth Community Foundation in the past.
Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner