A Saskatoon family well-known for its philanthropy has created an endowment fund to help six charitable organizations.

The $6 million in grants from Les and Irene Dubé will help the organizations sustain programs into the future, starting in 2021.

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The Dubés have donated millions of dollars to charities over the years.

“We’re trying to be good stewards,” Irene Dubé said in a release Monday.

“We’d like to leave the world a little better than when we came in.”

The Dubés established six endowed funds of $1 million each, funded 50 per cent now and 50 per cent in the future through life insurance.

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Saskatoon Community Foundation CEO Carm Michalenko said she was honoured to work with the Dubés to create the Dubé Endowed Funds.

“Les describes how philanthropy feeds the soul,” she said.

“Through their estate planning, they are wisely using life insurance to plan their legacy for their giving priorities. We are inspired by their mission to help others and create a community where everyone feels they belong.”

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One of the beneficiaries of the endowment is the Canadian Red Cross in Saskatchewan.

The organization said the funding will help provide emergency support, food and shelter for 72 hours after an event like a fire or flood, allowing families to begin the recovery process from a traumatic event.

“In Saskatchewan alone last year, we had over 200 families that were impacted by disasters,” said Kim MacLean, who works in emergency management for the Red Cross in Saskatchewan.

“These families have a number of children impacted. Over 25 per cent of the 200 families had children under the age of 12.”

The five other organizations benefitting from the endowment are the Lighthouse, the Canadian Mental Health Association of Saskatoon (CMHA Saskatoon), Sherbrooke Community Centre, Hope for Malawi, and Food for the Hungry Canada.

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The funds will help those organizations as follows:

The Lighthouse

Establishes a source of permanent financial support for the operations, serving some of Saskatoon’s most vulnerable community members experiencing extreme poverty, chronic homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse.

Canadian Mental Health Association of Saskatoon

Enables the association to assist caregivers as they care for family members experiencing mental illness.

Sherbrooke Community Centre

Enhances day programming, dementia care and the physical environment at the long-term care home in Saskatoon.

Hope for Malawi

Improves the lives of residents of communities served by Hope for Malawi, with an emphasis on expanding service to additional communities.

Food for the Hungry Canada

Provides life-saving nutrition for the poorest of the poor outside Canada, enabling communities to better support themselves.


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