Making a Difference 2021

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Making a Difference: 2021

At Kindred Foundation, we fund and partner with charities who are working hard to make Canada and the world better.  We also develop and run our own programs and projects that we feel will make a direct and positive impact for individuals, especially for youth and their families who experience unyielding health challenges.  In doing this, we are attracted to seemingly intractable problems, scientific uncertainty, and stacked odds.  These challenges, that we also call our three pillars of support, include: childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer research and clinical trials, youth mental and physical health, and community support primarily in the areas of food security and end-of-life care.

Over this last year, we learned that people, especially youth, need help now more than ever.  Challenges of mental health, mental illness, racism, unacceptance, cancer, food insecurity, and identity are more than enough for our youth to face; however, when more than one of these challenges are experienced together and when you layer on the pandemic, the suffering and need intensify.  Charities, non-profits and grassroots organizations are answering the calls for help.  And, because of COVID-19, they are redesigning their operations, finding ways to support their communities in light of physical distancing guidelines, and creating new ways to bring relief to those in need.

Helping to solve the problems that seem unsolvable.

Our Process


We want to see positive change happen, and to do this we know that we must invest our time, energy, and expertise to deeply understand the problems, the organizations working to solve these problems, and where the greatest chance of success lies to make progress and find solutions.


For the charities that we support, we work hard to get to know their community, the problems faced, their leadership, and how they are making a difference.  We believe in building relationships with those that we support and doing this takes effort.  We also do our research.  We study each organization – examining financial documents, annual reports, Google reviews, LinkedIn profiles, and many other public records.  We also connect with related experts and academic research consortiums who are working to understand the problems and the spaces that the charities are operating within.  We try to learn as much as possible so that we can make good decisions on how to invest Kindred Foundation’s charitable dollars.

Supporting the now while providing funding for an improved tomorrow.

We know that there will be mistakes.  We will invest in charities that ultimately won’t survive or meet the needs of the communities they serve.  We know that no outcome is guaranteed and that finding even the smallest solution to a tough problem is unbelievably hard.  We are willing to accept this, as long as we are always learning from every decision that we make.


We find ways to partner that will provide charities with the tools they need to be more successful.  Every charity is different, and we know that a solution for one charity may not work for another.  We don’t impose our values or ideas on how things should be done – we are not the experts, the charities are.  Because Kindred Foundation is based on a resilient endowment fund model, we can provide sustainable and reliable funding; however, we are also aware that we can’t be a charity’s only source of capital.  We refuse to be complacent, and we expect the same of the charities that Kindred Foundation supports.


Kindred Foundation is built on optimism.  We believe that by working together, we can be a part of finding solutions, even to those problems that seem unsolvable. 

Learnings from 2021


There are three issues that we see as exceptionally concerning for Canada, and for the world.  Finding solutions to these issues are important to Kindred Foundation as a whole, and to each of us individually at the Foundation.



Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer


Over the course of the pandemic, Canada has learned many lessons.  Some of these include our lack of biomanufacturing capacity, a complicated and often negative relationship with the pharmaceutical industry, and an overly complex health regulatory environment that creates barriers instead of providing access to clinical trials, cutting-edge treatments, and drugs.  These challenges translate across illnesses and are experienced deeply for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. 


Canadian children with cancer do not have access to the same high-quality and efficacious clinical trials and treatments that are found in the United States.  Canadian pediatric oncologists are often leaders and significant contributors to North American childhood cancer research consortiums; however, Canadian children do not often benefit from the clinical trials that come out of these groups.  Canada is falling further and further behind as treatments such as CAR T-cell therapy and immunotherapeutics surge forward in other countries. 

Youth Mental Health


As we close on our second year navigating through the pandemic, it has become very clear that our youth are struggling[i] more than ever.  We have only scratched the surface of understanding how isolation, lockdowns and physical distancing are impacting kids.  Mental health, especially youth mental health, will be the next health crisis, bringing forward a tsunami of need that our medical systems will not be able to handle.  Health system reports are showing that there are not enough inpatient beds for youth mental health and illness.  In particular, youth eating disorders[ii] and self-harm have grown significantly over the pandemic. 


The mental health challenges faced by Black and/or LGBTQ2S+ youth are even more acute as they are faced with additional challenges of racism, lack of acceptance, and other major issues.  In comparison to their peers, Black and/or LGBTQ2S+ youth are often the last to receive the care that they desperately need due to barriers navigating medical systems, unmanageable costs, and lack of support from their immediate support network.  In addition, it is more likely for these youth to have an altercation with police on their pathway to receive mental health care, creating even more distress and increased acuity.

Community Support: Food Insecurity


The latest report from Statistics Canada[i] shows that in 2019, approximately one in ten live in moderately or severely food insecure households in Canada.  It is estimated that this statistic will change significantly as new reports emerge on the pandemic years for 2020 and 2021.


Many people who were just getting by prior to the pandemic, were no longer able to make ends meet once going into lockdown after lockdown.  Food bank, meal and sharing programs saw a significant rise[ii],[iii] in the number of people relying on their services.  Skyrocketing housing costs, rising food costs and the pandemic have created a perfect storm of challenges that are disproportionately impacting those who are financially insecure. 


The increased demand and higher food costs have also seriously impacted charities providing food to those in need.  Food is a fundamental necessity in life, and when this is not easily acquired, it causes a cascade of issues[iv] that become increasingly difficult to solve.

What We Did in 2021 

Kindred Foundation officially launched as a  public foundation in September 2021. Prior to launch, we worked carefully to identify how the Foundation would operate, our collective values, and the three pillars of support. 

The last quarter of 2021 focused on making connections, building partnerships, and sourcing projects and initiatives to fund. We are excited by the charities and individuals who we are working with. We are constantly impressed by the work being done and the sacrifices made in the service of people who need help. The following is an overview of how we worked to make a difference in 2021.


Total Giving for 2021


Total Giving Since Inception

$8.9 million

Endownment Fund Value at the End of 2021


Endownment Fund Returns in 2021


Charities Supported in 2021


Kindred Foundation Programs Created

Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer 

Youth Mental and Physical Health 

Community Support 


The First Canadian Treats & Treasures Cart at Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.

End of Life Care 

Food Security Programs 


What 2022 Holds, As We Know So Far 

2022 arrived with more challenges related to the  pandemic – challenges that will inevitably cause  more strife and need for those experiencing  various life hardships. We have already started  working on a youth mental health strategy that  will provide funding to Canadian grassroots  organizations providing support to youth,  especially youth in vulnerable communities, to  access the help they need when experiencing  mental health challenges and illness.

We hope to donate more than $1 million to charities in 2022.

Kindred Foundation will be working with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada to co-fund two pediatric blood cancer research innovation grants. We will also work to provide funding that will bring innovative research and clinical trials to Canada for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer. 

Kindred Foundation is working to expand the Treats & Treasures Cart program to more hospitals across Canada to ensure that childhood cancer patients and their families can experience a small moment of joy during very difficult days. The Kindred Cares grant for residential hospice and pediatric palliative care programs, projects and research will also run for its second year. 

Kindred Foundation hopes to donate more than $1 million to Canadian charities in 2022. 

We look forward to building deeper relationships with the charities we already support and building new partnerships with charities across Canada. We are excited by what 2022 will hold,  who we will meet, and all the new things that we will learn. 

Our Big Goal 

For Kindred Foundation to be built on a $24 million endowment fund by 2024. 

We will work to achieve our big goal through: 

With Immense Gratitude for Our Donors and Supporters 

We are deeply grateful to Kindred Foundation donors and supporters. You help to make all of our work possible – you are all part of helping to find solutions to complex problems. Every dollar donated to Kindred Foundation is allocated to our charitable purpose. All of your donated dollars go towards grants to charities and Foundation programs. 

In 2021, Kindred Foundation and CMLS Financial created a unique and impactful partnership, establishing a truly unprecedented approach to corporate philanthropy. We are very grateful for the support that CMLS Financial has already shown to Kindred Foundation, and we are excited by what this new partnership will hold as we move into 2022. We will share more about this partnership throughout 2022 and we look forward to what we will achieve together. 

Our accomplishments and successes are your accomplishments and successes. We are all in this together and are working to make a difference. Thank you for being a part of Kindred Foundation. 

To Close, With Kindness 

If you are a Canadian charity that is doing excellent work and changing the lives of people who need help, reach out to us. We would love to meet you, learn more about the work that you are doing, and see if there is an opportunity to partner. 

As we enter 2022, everyone at Kindred Foundation wishes you good health and happiness.  Take care of yourselves and each other. 

1Financial Post. December 14, 2021. “Canada’s Youth Are Not Alright: New Poll Reveals Why More Mental Health  and Substance Use Supports are Needed.” alright-new-poll-reveals-why-more-mental-health-and-substance-use-supports-are-needed 

2 CBC News. December 10, 2021. “I Stopped Eating: Rise in Eating Disorders Seen Among Ontario Youth During  Pandemic”. 1.6280815 

3Statistics Canada. January 7, 2022. Canada Income Survey: Food insecurity and unmet health care needs, 2018  and 2019. 


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4Food Banks Canada. Hunger Count 2021. 

5 Community Food Centres Canada. Beyond Hunger: The Hidden Impacts of Food Insecurity in Canada. 

6 PROOF: Food Insecurity Policy Research. Household Food Insecurity.