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Moncton family donates $50,000 to help the most vulnerable during COVID-19 crisis

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A Moncton couple has donated $50,000 to five organizations that are helping to alleviate the need on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Martell family typically donate anonymously and say they are only publicizing their philanthropy to inspire others to follow their lead.

READ MORE: 2 new cases of coronavirus identified in New Brunswick

“Now, more than ever, the social sector is counting on private philanthropy to step up and give so that all Canadians stay safe and healthy,” said Dan Martell in stated released by Global Philanthropic Canada on Saturday.

“Renée Warren, [my wife], and I hope our gesture will inspire others to give both monetary donations and the gift of their time and talents as well.”
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In total, 48 organizations applied for the Martells’ offer of funding and on Saturday, the couple announced that they will be supporting the following five organizations and projects:

  • The Atlantic Wellness Centre
  • The Harvest House Atlantic
  • The Humanity Project
  • Portage Atlantic
  • The Student Lunch Bag Program

According to the family, the funds will ensure meals and household products are available for economically vulnerable people; support the wellbeing of the province’s health-care workforce, and to provide shelter, support, and mental health services for those in need.

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Each organization will get $10,000 each.

“Atlantic Wellness Centre provides mental health for free for kids that are between the ages of 12 and 21,” said Martell.

He says their donation will help finance 117 virtual therapy sessions during this time.

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In addition, another $10,000 is also being donated to The Student Lunch Bag program.

“There’s a lot of those organizations that can’t reach those children and those families so with part of our donation we can now offer 3,500 lunches a week,” said Renee Warren, wife of Dan Martell.

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All these donations are being considered a blessing by beneficiaries that came at a crucial time.

“That money will be used to feed between 200 to 300 children, seniors, homeless and working poor families in our community 7 days a week,” said Charles Burrell of The Humanity Project

The deputy executive director of Harvest House Atlantic, March Belliveau, also said that they’ll be investing the money to help guests focus on self-care by providing them with food, arts and music programs.

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The Martells’ say their decision to support organizations that focus on youth and helping people in their darkest times comes from Dan’s own life experiences.

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Having been a deeply-troubled youth himself, Dan said that he understands all too well what it’s like to struggle with anxiety, depression and defiance.

“Coronavirus-related business closures are having a devastating effect on so many,” Martell said.

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“People are losing jobs, businesses are shutting doors, we are stuck at home, and we are relying on our charitable sector more than ever,” he explains.

In response to this increased need for the charitable sector, the Martells have created the “Giving Crew” to challenge other heart-led entrepreneurs to make an impact in their local communities.

The Giving Crew’s objective is to inspire twenty additional $10,000 donations in 20 days for a total of $250,000 to local charities.