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Halton Children’s Aid Society receives grant for new donation system

Burlington MPP Natalie Pierre spoke at the Halton Children’s Aid Society (Halton CAS) Friday morning (May 3) to recognize a $22,500 grant to the organization through the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The grant was given to help improve the management of donations to the Halton CAS by digitizing the recording process.

Austin McNeil, a volunteer with the organization, created a custom system of barcodes and scanners to streamline the process, avoid confusion and save volunteers countless hours of sorting and filing donation records.

McNeil created the scanners himself by 3D printing them and created his own software to suit the Halton CAS’ needs. The scanners were created with accessibility in mind to make them easy to use for people who struggle with vision and hearing impairments by including lights, sounds and rumble feedback.

Pierre talked about the need for organizations like Halton CAS in the province.

“Organizations like the Halton Children’s Aid Society are important,” Pierre said. “Not only to people in Burlington and across Halton, but in communities all across the province. They play an important role in building up families and assisting those in need.”

Bill Laidlaw, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation who works with the grant committee, also attended the event. Laidlaw was one of the people who oversaw Halton CAS’ original appeal for a grant for the new system.

“We looked at $100 million worth of funds for Ontario,” Laidlaw said to the Halton CAS volunteers. “We look at areas like this that are very, very important, and I remember reviewing this admission. We’re pleased to support the organization, and we want you to keep up the good work.”

Pierre added that the Halton Children’s Aid Society is an example of the good people can do for one another and how the province intends to support them and similar organizations.

“Volunteers like yourselves and the Children’s Aid Society really make an impact in every-day lives,’ Pierre said during her speech. “Our government wants to ensure that these programs and spaces remain an integral part of communities across Ontario.”

Author: Calum O'Malley
Source: Burlington Today, Milton Today, Oakville News

Janice Robinson (Halton Children's Aid Society), Bill Laidlaw (Ontario Trillium Foundation), Austin McNeil (Austin's Creations), MPP Natalie Pierre (Burlington), Tina Blatchford (Children's Aid Foundation of Halton)