ODBF is proud to announce its recipient charities for the ODBF Pledge Challenge and to begin its fundraising in support of these essential local programs.

The ODBF Pledge Challenge is the foundation’s annual summer campaign which raises funds for local charities who are providing essential programs and services to thousands of people in Ottawa. Beginning on March 1 through to June 30 funds will be raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa, Chelsea Foundation, CHEO, Lotus Centre for Special Music Education, Ottawa Therapy Dogs, and Tim Hortons Foundation Camps.

How your donation will help…

Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa, Chelsea Foundation, CHEO, Lotus Centre for Special Music Education, Ottawa Therapy Dogs, and Tim Hortons Foundation Camps.

ODBF will be supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters Ottawa’s one-to-one in-school mentoring program which provides children and youth with a caring role model and friend to share the experience of growing up with. For one hour a week over the course of the school year, mentors meet with their mentees within school grounds to engage in activities like board games and crafts or to simply spend time together. The program strives to instill trust and self-confidence in mentees to make good decisions and promotes the importance of healthy relationships.

ODBF will be supporting the rejuvenation of La Fab sur Mill (LFSM) through the Chelsea Foundation. LFSM purchased the 150-year-old United Church building on Mill Road to establish a permanent home for the performing and visual arts. Since 2021, LFSM launched a major renovation project to restore and convert the church into an arts centre which will create high quality arts and cultural programming for all levels of artistic abilities and audiences.

ODBF will be supporting the CHEO Mental Health Department which will designate the funds to purchase 2 Macmedical Blanket Warmers for their two inpatient Eating Disorder programs. The total cost would be approximately $12 000. Eating disorders are prevalent and represent an increasing worrisome trend with a 60% rise from pre-pandemic levels. CHEO has expanded their programs to meet this need. Their inpatient Eating disorder program has expanded to 10 beds and provides inpatient treatment to children and youth with significant medical complications related to their eating disorder. Patients admitted to this unit are dealing with a variety of medical and psychological complications including malnutrition, dehydration, cardiac changes, low blood pressure, hypothermia, self harm behavior and suicidal ideation.

ODBF will be supporting Lotus Centre for Special Music Education adaptive summer music camp. Their camp serves children with a wide range of physical and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, and is for children developmentally aged 5-18. The camp runs weekly during the summer for 9 weeks and each camp week has two groups of 7 campers for a total of 126 camp spots during the summer. The Lotus Centre for Special Music Education adaptive summer music camp centers on 2 daily music circles led by professional music educators trained in adapting instruction for students with disabilities.

Ottawa Therapy Dogs strives to create a healthier community, one therapy dog visit at a time. Through their canine assisted interventions, volunteer handlers and their furry companions provide comfort and relief to individuals coping with physical and/or mental health challenges at healthcare, educational and social services facilities across the National Capital Region. As their waitlist requests to support children and youth mental health continues to outpace the capacity of their volunteer teams, Ottawa Therapy Dogs is currently focused on bolstering recruitment efforts. Funding will support enhanced training to provide visits to this demographic to ensure more handlers and dogs are qualified to work with younger populations, and to further extend their ‘pawprint’ in the community.

ODBF will also be supporting Tim Hortons® Foundation Camps, Camp des Voyageurs Tim Horton in Quyon Quebec, who are helping to create brighter futures for youth in the National Capital Region. A leader in youth development programming, Tims Camps support youth from low-income homes between the ages of 12 to 16 – an important developmental time that helps shape who they will become as adults. Through a multi-year, camp-based program, youth learn skills like leadership, resilience and responsibility, which empower them to believe in their potential. Youth are supported to thrive when they return home, to excel in post-secondary education, to succeed at work and to contribute positively to their communities.


Antony Cooper