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The 2020 TD Ready Challenge awards $10 million (CDN) in grants to organizations with innovative solutions designed to help address challenges of COVID-19

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2021 /CNW/ - Today, TD is proud to award $10 million (CDN) in grants to 15 North American organizations that are working to help address existing social inequities in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The grants, provided through the 2020 TD Ready Challenge, will help support innovative solutions working to accelerate a sustained and equitable recovery.

The TD Ready Challenge, launched in 2018, is an annual North American initiative that provides grant support to organizations developing solutions to help tackle community issues which are aligned with the Bank's corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is not only a health crisis, but also a social, economic and environmental one. There's growing evidence that COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting certain populations across North America, including individuals from racialized or newcomer communities and Indigenous Peoples," said Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. "The TD Ready Challenge is our way to identify and support new ideas and solutions that can be key to helping communities emerge resilient, inclusive, vibrant and ready for the continually changing future. I want to thank all the participants of this year's Challenge and look forward to hearing about the positive impact our 15 successful grant recipients will have as they address these issues."

TD received more than 1,300 applications, and after a thorough multi-step evaluation process, 26 finalists were shortlisted for grants ranging from $350,000 to $1 million (CDN) and were assessed by an 18-member virtual judging panel.

The 15 successful recipients brought forth a variety of impactful solutions to help address issues of inequality and racism, and newly exposed social, economic and environmental threats raised by the current pandemic crisis. Their promising approaches demonstrate the potential to build resilience and equality across North America to help communities thrive post-pandemic.

"As a practicing physician who has seen the first hand impact of COVID-19 on society, it was an honour to be included as part of this panel and hear from so many incredible organizations across North America who are tackling critical issues relating to the impacts of the pandemic," said Dr. Vipan Nikore, Chief Medical Director, TD Bank Group. "I was inspired by the final 2020 grant recipients, and I commend them for their creative ideas designed to build healthy, more equitable communities."

The 2020 TD Ready Challenge is part of the $25 million (CAD) TD Community Resilience Initiative that TD launched to help address COVID-19 recovery. To learn more about the final 2020 grant recipients and the TD Ready Challenge, visit

The solutions of each of the 15 final grant recipients of the 2020 TD Ready Challenge, in their own words, are:


$1 Million (CDN) Recipients:

Canadian Feed the Children: The TD Indigenous Forest Fund: Reimagining Food Forests – From Food Security to Food Sovereignty (Canada)
The TD Indigenous Forest Fund will establish self-sustaining, local food systems and create stronger, more resilient Indigenous communities by providing critical ecological services, fostering valuable relationships with the land on which they live and boosting food supply.

Start2Finish Canada: Brainworx! Learning Enhancement Program (Canada)
Brainworx! will deliver a 30-week program that provides culturally responsive education, helping under-served students develop resiliency and become independent learners. The program will be delivered through a cohesive online framework focused on literacy, movement, social emotional learning, growth mindset, mentorship and parent engagement.

Women's College Hospital Foundation: Women's Virtual (Ontario)
Women's Virtual at Women's College Hospital is leveraging technology to build Canada's first virtual hospital. By using digital health tools and virtual models of care, it is re-imagining how healthcare is delivered making it more accessible, responsive and equitable.

$750,000 (CDN) Recipients:

The University of British Columbia (UBC): Remote Communities Drone Transport Initiative (British Columbia)
Through innovative drone technology, UBC's Remote Communities Drone Transport Initiative will test the feasibility of enhancing access to health care services such as lab, pharmacy, and supplies, for First Nations communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

$350,000$650,000 (CDN) Recipients:

Canadian Mental Health Association, Newfoundland and Labrador (CMHA-NL): COVID-19 Mental Health Recovery Program (Newfoundland and Labrador)
The intended outcome of the COVID-19 Mental Health Recovery Program is to alleviate the strain that has been placed on people's mental health by the pandemic. CMHA-NL looks to create spaces where people are able to openly discuss the effects of the pandemic on their overall mental health, be it from the virus itself or the sudden changes and restrictions that followed.

CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals: The Recovery, Healing & Resilience (RHR) Program (Ontario)
The RHR program is a capacity-building initiative that strives to build the adaptive capacity, system leadership and collective infrastructure of Black Focused, Black Lead and/or Black Serving non-profits and grassroots organizations.

Interligne: Être là pour vous (Quebec)
In order to meet emerging needs of the LGBTQ+ population caused by the pandemic, Interligne will deliver a series of programs to address social isolation and keep communities connected, with a focus on mental and physical well-being and safety.

McGill University Health Centre Foundation: Making Telemedicine Accessible to More Canadians (Quebec)
Despite the challenges it brings, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity to expand the use of telemedicine and broadly accept the platform as a suitable tool used in delivering patient care. The goal of the program is to improve access to telemedicine for more patients by enhancing current services using live translation and transcript services.

University of Saskatchewan: Transforming Emergency Response in First Nations and Métis Communities in the times of COVID-19 through Gender and Cultural Safety (Saskatchewan)
Led by First Nations and Métis Health Research Network (FMHRN), this initiative responds to the need for gender and culturally safe training as part of emergency response planning during COVID-19 and beyond.


$1 Million (CDN) Recipients:

Urban League of Broward County, Inc.: LYNX: Service Integration Model for Family Resiliency (Florida)
This integrated service and coaching model presents a path towards social and economic resilience for families in underserved communities. LYNX leverages program services, artificial intelligence, data science and strategic partnerships to reduce bias and influence policies that impact low-to-moderate income households.

$750,000 (CDN) Recipients:

Per Scholas, Inc.: Per Scholas Alumni Upskilling Initiative (New York, U.S)
Through this initiative, the organization will provide enhanced, tuition-free tech training opportunities and career development services for alumni negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, with a focus on upskilling, reskilling, and professional development opportunities to advance in successful tech careers.

Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations: Save Your Biz Philly Program – (Pennsylvania)
This program aims to help minority small business owners and small businesses on commercial corridors serving minority populations that have debts due to the COVID-19 crisis save their businesses and retain or rehire employees through outreach, technical assistance, financial counseling, pro-bono legal counsel, and a Court-mandated process of negotiation with debt holders that can lead to manageable repayment agreements.

$350,000$650,000 (CDN) Recipients:

Port Discovery Children's Museum: Supporting Baltimore's Children: A COVID-19 Response Project (Maryland)
In response to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this project aims to harness the power of playful learning to support children. To increase access to learning, the Museum will create and deliver virtual educational enrichment for students in under-resourced schools and neighborhoods, launch new programming that helps bridge the digital divide among early learners, and reopen the Museum safely for families in the Baltimore community. Programs will focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), healthy living, and early literacy.

Clinica Esperanza (Hope Clinic): Responding to the COVID-19 health and economic crisis in a low-income, Spanish-speaking area of Providence, RI (Rhode Island)
This program plans to expand free clinic services and address the unmet healthcare needs of newly unemployed and uninsured patients needing care as a result of COVID-19.

Penquis: The Rural Maine Financial Coaching Collaborative (Maine)
This collaboration will provide financial coaching through 10+ social services agencies and support over 30 case managers in helping hundreds of low-income clients to weather financial difficulties, prioritize bills and budgeting, and to develop and negotiate payment plans, in addition to supporting case managers in understanding the basics of the foreclosure and rental eviction processes to help keep clients in their homes or find reasonable alternatives.

About the TD Ready Commitment
TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, the TD Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (U.S. $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through the TD Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident - not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group ("TD" or the "Bank"). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves over 26 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in The Charles Schwab Corporation; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 14 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.7 trillion in assets on October 31, 2020. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

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