coCare Emergency Micro-Grants Initiative


The coCare Emergency Micro-Grant is an initiative that enables communities to financially support one another in a tangible way that ensures basic needs are met unconditionally for our most vulnerable community members.

We aim to raise $75,000 to provide emergency micro-grants up to $1,000 each to individuals and families across Toronto and some cities within the Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga, Brampton, and Markham) to support their emergency financial needs, monthly living expenses, and sick leave related to COVID 19.

As we battle the third wave of COVID-19 and live through another province-wide lockdown we can no longer watch our government fail Canadians, especially those who are most marginalized. This fund can not replace the critical need for government policy that is responsive to the needs and safety of Canadians like for instance, paid sick days or Universal Basic Income, but it’s a start. 

Grants will provide immediate financial support to residents Toronto and some cities within Greater Toronto Area (Mississauga, Brampton, Markham) in order to provide easy and safe access to money to support emergency cash expenses and basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, child care and sick leave coverage as vaccines continue to roll-out.

coCare acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples, and is now the home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. coCare also acknowledges that this area is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.

Who started this and why

coCare was started by Kim Kirton ( aka me!), a Toronto queer BIPOC woman who has received emergency financial support prior to the pandemic, and knows first hand the positive impact it can have on someone’s life and circumstance. Kim’s background is in social enterprise and has been building social impact-driven businesses for the last 5 years.

coCare is supported by a community grant given to Kim by the Royal Bank of Canada(RBC), the Community Foundations of Canada, and the Community Knowledge Exchange to help support the infrastructure of coCare’s Micro-Grant Initiative.

coCare’s long-term vision is to continue to support members of our community well beyond the Emergency Micro Grant Initiative. We aspire to create sustainable community micro-grants and -loans programs to provide emergency financial support to those who need it most -  completely funded by your fellow neighbors. Community-based mutual aid has been around a long time across different communities and cultures, all with the same premise of assisting and helping your neighbours. coCare acknowledges the incredible history of community lending and wants to make accessible this model to all communities and neighborhoods and merge it with the concept of modern small-dollar loans which we feel is the future of lending.  To learn more about coCare's long-term vision click here !

How will the funds be released to people receiving the micro-grants? 

- Individuals will apply for a micro-grant through this application  (approx. 20 questions)

- Applicants will receive an email with their application status within 72 hours

- For approved applications, we will begin to distribute the funds to applicants via e-transfer as soon as the funds are available from GoFundMe

*** all funds from the GoFundMe will be deposited into a separate banking account and will only hold the funds collected from this campaign. ****

Applications will be prioritized based on:

Physical safety
Urgency and timeline of funds needed
Current access to alternative resources

Racialized and marginalized individuals will be prioritized. 

The micro-grants can only be accessed once per individual in order for us to serve as many people as possible during this time. 

There are a lot of community members in need and we will not be able to support everyone. This is why we will be giving a portion of the funds raised through this campaign to other grassroots organizations in our community in order to reach more people. We are in the process of partnering up with the other grassroots organizations and will update this page when confirmed. 

How will the GoFundMe money be distributed?

85% to coCare’s Emergency Micro-Grants Initiative 

15% to Administration Fees: e transfer fees, GoFundMe fees, and labour (stipends) for our team managing the day to day transfer and applications

The GoFundMe will be open until June 30th, 2021. Any funds remaining after this period will continue to be donated directly to coCare’s ongoing micro-grants initiative.

Why does coCare take an administration fee?

We employ a small team of contract workers to handle all the operations to turn coCare into a reality. We believe strongly in people being properly compensated for their labour and a portion of the admin fees will go toward paying the coCare team for their work. 

We will also be allocating 4.1% to cover the fundraising platform fees and allocating $1.00 for every e-transfer sent to cover the service fee.

The coCare initiative is a for-profit social enterprise and will be allocating some admin fees for HST reserves. 

Any additional surplus of operating expenses will be reinvested back into coCare. This will specifically be directed to continue to develop and invest in our long-term vision of a sustainable community-funded micro-lending program.

How is coCare staying accountable for delivering the funds?

coCare will be publishing an impact report detailing where all funds have been allocated for the GoFundMe by the end of this year (i.e. 2021). 

We will also be posting bi-weekly updates on our micro-grants and on the work that has been accomplished to date. 

What to expect after you donate

After your donation, you will receive bi-weekly updates on the micro-grants via GoFundMe.

You will be added to coCare’s email list (with your consent) to receive an impact report and also watch us continue to grow into long-term community support. You can unsubscribe at any time.

If you cannot contribute at this time, but want to stay informed and engaged and contribute in the future join our mailing list here

What else can I do to support people and communities right now?

1. call and email your MPP  to demand legislated paid sick days and universal basic income 

2. sign the petitions for paid sick days  and universal basic income 

3. contribute, get involved or amplify other mutual aid and community organizations efforts, such as FoodShareTO , North of Bloor Mutual Aid , CareMongering TO , OnCanadaProject 



Donations (348)

  • Heather Kelemen
    • $5 
    • 2 yrs
  • Heather Kelemen
    • $5 
    • 2 yrs
  • Serah Yim
    • $5 
    • 2 yrs
  • Nancy Deng
    • $10 
    • 2 yrs
  • Margaux Joelson
    • $15 
    • 2 yrs

Fundraising team: coCare Team (2)

Kim Kirton
Toronto, ON
Madison Foran
Team member

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