More kids will benefit from life-changing activities with CIBC's $1 million gift to the Children's Aid Foundation

Donation will allow 2,500 more children and youth involved in Canada's child welfare system access to sports, recreational, cultural and educational opportunities

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - More children and youth in Canada's child welfare system will benefit from life-changing programs with today's announcement from CIBC of a $1 million gift from the funds raised on CIBC Miracle Day™ to the Children's Aid Foundation's $60 million National Campaign for Child Welfare.

"We are extremely grateful for the CIBC's vision and ongoing leadership in helping to improve and enrich the lives of Canada's most vulnerable children and youth," says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children's Aid Foundation.  "CIBC's continued support will allow the Foundation's National Campaign for Child Welfare in Canada to move closer to its goal of ensuring that all children in the child welfare system have access to the resources they need to be successful in life."

Over 10,500 children living in the child welfare system across Canada have already been able to access life-enriching activities through the establishment of the CIBC Miracle Fund program. Today's donation will allow 2,500 more children and youth living in the child welfare system to participate in sports, recreational, cultural and educational activities in 11 communities across Canada: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Owen Sound, Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal and Halifax.

"For nearly two decades, the CIBC Miracle Fund has been helping kids across Canada access opportunities that help them build a better future,"  says Harry Culham, CIBC Senior Executive Vice-President, and Group Head, Capital Markets. "We're proud that the funds we raise on CIBC Miracle Day are able to support organizations like the Children's Aid Foundation and improve the lives of Canada's most deserving kids." 

The donation was announced today as part of CIBC Miracle Day, the bank's annual fundraising event where CIBC Capital Markets and CIBC Wood Gundy employees donate fees and commissions from the trading day to children's charities through the CIBC Children's Foundation.  Last year, CIBC Miracle Day raised $5 million in Canada, benefiting 550 charities.

Unfortunately, for young people involved with Canada's child welfare system, the opportunity to participate in life-enriching activities is simply out of reach. While living in foster or group homes, the funding available to kids in the child welfare system is only enough to cover their basic necessities and significant gaps in funding often prevent them from enrolling in sports, taking dance lessons or learning how to play a musical instrument. However, these very experiences can help build a child's confidence, develop their interpersonal skills and restore their self-esteem, allowing them to grow into healthy individuals.

"I believe that sports and activities actually give you a sense of community and purpose that you cannot get anywhere else. I received funding to take part in track and field throughout my entire life and it ended up being the scaffold that got me to university because if it wasn't for track, I wouldn't have gone," says Jessica, a former youth in care, who was involved in the child welfare system from birth and is now pursuing a master's degree in education. "If not for the CIBC Miracle Fund and having the opportunity to do sports throughout my lifetime, I truly don't think I would be where I am today."

For more than two decades, funds raised on CIBC Miracle Day have supported a wide of variety of Children's Aid Foundation initiatives, and CIBC was a returning patron sponsor of last weekend's 29th annual Children's Aid Foundation Gala - Teddy Bear Affair, which raised $1.4 million.

About the Children's Aid Foundation
The Children's Aid Foundation's National Campaign for Child Welfare aims to raise $60 million to change the lives of thousands of children and youth for the better. The Children's Aid Foundation is Canada's leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system. With the support of generous corporate, foundation and individual donors, we have been helping children reach their potential against all odds since 1979. Join us and help some of the most vulnerable kids in Canada overcome traumas of the past and rebuild stability, self-worth and a sense of life's possibilities. Learn more at www.cafdn.org   Twitter: @cafdn

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Image with caption: "CIBC presents $1 million cheque to the Children's Aid Foundation. Left to Right, Martin Corbeil, Yanick Brochu, Charles Martel, Jean Morin, Richard Lefebvre, Children's Aid Foundation, Isabelle Lévesque, Fondation Centre jeunesse de Montréal, Frédéric Théorêt, Jean Raymond, and Françoys Levert. (CNW Group/Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151202_C9436_PHOTO_EN_44532.jpg

For further information:

Lisa Lipkin
Lisa Lipkin Communications for the Children's Aid Foundation
lisa.lipkin@llpr.ca
416-988-4189

Olga Petrycki
Director, External Communications
CIBC
olga.petrycki@cibc.com
416-306-9760


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