Keeping Their Dreams Alive is the motto for the Canadian Hero Fund, a recognized charity. Their mission is to raise $2.5 million over five years, to be provided as post-secondary scholarships to the children and spouses of fallen Canadian soldiers who gave their lives for future generations.
A group of U of T students, influenced by the increasing number of Canadian war casualties and the families they left behind, started the Canadian Hero Fund. The fund received recognition on December 1, 2009, after a two-year wait from the federal government. The organization depends on charity events and donations, whether from individuals or companies, as the means to reach their goal and provide scholarships. In the first two weeks of its existence, Canadian Hero Fund raised over $10,000, and the most recent charity event, Hot Chocolate for Heroes, which took place on January 11 at the corner of Bloor and St. George street on the St. George campus, raised over $800.
All of the applicants will qualify for the Canadian Hero Fund Scholarship as long as they are a child or spouse of a fallen soldier. According to Michael Bell, the charitys executive director, an Educational Advisory Committee comprised of academics and academic administrators from U of T will advise on the disbursement of scholarships and best practices in the management of a scholarship fund. The plan is to start awarding scholarships as early as fall 2010. We are already in contact with the child of a fallen soldier in New Brunswick who would be eligible for this fall, said Bell.
The charity has sparked interest across the country. A Hot Chocolate for Heroes is planned to occur at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Other events are also planned for Montreal, Edmonton and British Columbia.
Once the scholarship goal is achieved, [Canadian Hero Fund] would definitely like to branch out to other areas of need for military families, said Bell. There are a great deal of worthwhile projects that we will consider, including community support programs, and we hope to fill the gaps where the need is greatest.
The Canadian Hero Fund acts as a medium for Canadians to show their support for military families and their sacrifice. More information can be found at herofund.ca or by following the group on Twitter or Facebook.