George Rajotte has a simple philosophy when it comes to philanthropy: “I do it for fun and for free! There are no strings attached. It’s good to help when you can.” Rajotte, the CEO of Rajotte Capital Group; Western Industrial Services Ltd (WISL), Western Construction Services Inc. (WCSI), and Able Crane Services, recently donated $10,000 to Aulneau Renewal Centre to support their services.
Elizabete Halprin, the Executive Director of the centre, which offers therapeutic supports to adults, children, and families, shares that donations like Rajotte’s make a big difference to those they serve. “The funds will be used to support people who access sliding scale counselling services,” she shares. “A lot of people struggle to pay the fees, which can start at $10. The scale allows people to receive services at a low cost and get quality mental health supports that would normally be out of reach for them due to private practice fees.”
Those services include Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), two modalities on the cutting edge of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, among other mental health concerns. Aulneau Renewal Centre was also recently accredited as a Certified Trauma Informed Organisation, which means that all areas of the organisation are attuned to the needs of those experiencing or recovering from trauma.
Rajotte, for his part, is happy to know that his donation will make a difference in the lives of others. “I don’t have any special goals with my philanthropy, aside from helping people who are less fortunate,” he shares. “I’ve had a good life… a really good life. It’s my job to give back to my community now that I can. And Aulneau is helping a lot of people.”
Aulneau Renewal Centre, which has offices in Steinbach and in Winnipeg, is certainly committed to supporting as many families as they’re able. “When we use the sliding scale, we take a lot of factors into account,” Halprin continues. “We look at income, but also household size and special circumstances. Someone who has just lost a job or is going through a divorce might need a different level of financial support. We try to be as compassionate as possible.”
A donation like Rajotte’s, made without specifying how the funds can be used, creates a sort of domino effect within the organisation. “Everything we do is about being able to support the communities we work with,” says Halprin. “But this type of donation also frees up some of our resources so we can see where else we can help, or what other types of programs we can create. The needs of the public are great, that’s for sure.”
Rajotte reflects on the fact that there is a plaque with his name on it outside the Winnipeg offices of Aulneau Renewal Centre, but as always, he remains humble. He concludes, “When they offered to put that up, I thought it was kind of them. But really, there’s nothing special going on here. I give because I can.”