BY: Sam Laprade for The Ottawa Business Journal.

Who: Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.

The donation: $20,000

The recipients: Family Services Ottawa

The inspiration: “We believe in making a tangible and lasting difference in the communities we call home. As communities across Canada look towards post pandemic recovery, the need for mental health services and support is greater than it has ever been.” – Alison Scarlett, assistant vice-president, public relations and brand communications, Giant Tiger Stores Ltd. 

Alison Scarlett is the assistant vice-president of public relations and brand communications at Giant Tiger Stores Ltd.

Family Services Ottawa has been overwhelmed with requests for mental health support over the past year as the pandemic places additional strain on individuals and families across the region.

“It has been a challenging time for all parents,” says Deirdre Speers, the executive director of Family Services Ottawa. “Many (are) trying to work from home and support their children 24/7. Moms and dads are telling us they are exhausted and they need resources.”

FSO has been operating in Ottawa since 1914 and provides individual, couples and family counselling as well as education programs for children, youth adults and seniors. The agency has kept its virtual doors open throughout the pandemic.

“Our focus right now at FSO is parents and their families,” Speers says.

She adds the organization expects to be able to extend its impact thanks to a recent $20,000 donation from Giant Tiger, the Ottawa-headquartered Canadian discount retailer.

“We are proud to be partnering with Family Services Ottawa to help provide access to mental health services and support to vulnerable families in Ottawa,” says Alison Scarlett, assistant vice-president of public relations and brand communications at Giant Tiger Stores Ltd. 

Supporting the mental and physical health of families is one of three charitable giving focus areas for Giant Tiger – along with food banks and youth empowerment – as part of a vision of doing the greatest good possible, for the greatest number of people, in the communities in which the retailer operates.