CN's $5 million donation strengthens The Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees

The Welcome Fund is now contributing $6 million towards settlement efforts

TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Manulife and Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) extend their gratitude to CN for its generous contribution of $5 million to The Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees (The Welcome Fund). Established by Manulife and CFC, The Welcome Fund was set up to address immediate needs for transitional housing, job training and skills development as identified by the Government.

"CN commends Manulife for partnering with CFC to establish The Welcome Fund and for their leadership and extraordinary corporate generosity," said Sean Finn, Executive Vice-President Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer, CN. "We are pleased to direct our $5 million corporate contribution to The Welcome Fund, which will support the refugees through local charitable organizations in communities across Canada."

"CN has showed tremendous leadership and generosity with its support of the Government's plan to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada," said Donald Arthur Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife. "We would like to thank CN for directing its donation into The Welcome Fund and we invite, welcome and encourage contributions from other companies."

On December 10, Manulife and CFC announced the establishment of The Welcome Fund with a $500,000 seed contribution by Manulife. Canada's community foundation network will match this contribution at the local level, for a total investment of $1 million.

The Welcome Fund will support communities across Canada who will be welcoming new members in the coming months. Community foundations will direct contributions to local charitable organizations in each community where they will have the greatest impact. More than 85 per cent of Canadian communities have access to a community foundation.

"As many prepare to join communities across Canada, it's paramount that all of us work together to welcome refugees from Syria and to support those leading housing and resettlement efforts in our communities. Manulife and CN's contribution and collaboration exemplify this spirit of partnership and we welcome and encourage others to build on this momentum," said Ian Bird, President, Community Foundations of Canada.

About Community Foundations of Canada
Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada's 191 community foundations which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play. Community foundations contribute time, leadership and financial support to initiatives that benefit community most, directing grants and other investments towards everything from shelter, education, and care for those in need, to the arts, environment and recreation. Collectively community foundations manage more than $4.6 billion in assets and have put hundreds of millions back into communities over our 94 year history. To learn more visit www.communityfoundations.ca.

About Manulife
Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions.  We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere.  We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.  At the end of 2014, we had 28,000 employees, 58,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers.  At the end of September 2015, we had $888 billion (US$663 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $23 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers.  Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years.  With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as 'MFC' on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under '945' in Hong Kong.  Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit www.manulife.com or www.johnhancock.com.

SOURCE Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media Contacts: 
Manulife
Rebecca Freiburger
Rebecca_Freiburger@manulife.com
(519) 503-6604
@ManulifeNews

Community Foundations of Canada
Andrea Dicks
Vice President
(613) 236-2664 ext. 309
adicks@communityfoundations.ca
@CommFdnsCanada


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