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Diocese of Ottawa to partner with Anglican Foundation in nationwide youth-focused fundraising campaign

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By on April 1, 2022

The Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) and the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa are once again joining forces to raise funds for Say Yes! to Kids 2022, AFC’s national peer-to-peer (P2P) fundraising initiative that is now in its second year. 

“In spring 2021 the Today for Tomorrow fundraising team raised $7,340 in support of Say Yes! to Kids,” says Jane Scanlon, director of communications and stewardship development for the Diocese of Ottawa. “The campaign, and the Request for Proposals that followed, resulted in the largest one-time investment in youth-focused ministry and outreach the Canadian church has seen: $470,000 to 79 recipients. In the Diocese of Ottawa, seven projects received $33,300.”

In 2022, AFC will partner directly with parishes who want to raise money for their local youth programs. Instead of applying for a grant after the campaign, parish teams will apply up front and be the primary beneficiaries of campaigns they help to champion at the local level.Any parish wishing to raise money to support ministry and outreach that meets the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of children, youth, and young adults is encouraged to apply,” says Scanlon.

“For all the grant recipients we met in 2021, we know the work to support the church’s champions for youth has only just begun,” explains Dr. Scott Brubacher, executive director, AFC. “In our midst are untold seeds waiting to be sown, green shoots ministries just beginning to take root, and still others, at a mature stage of development. They all need life-giving water to grow where they have been planted so that they can continue to serve their communities and energize our church.”

Brubacher says that energy is needed now more than ever. “As pandemic restrictions lift and churches begin to re-engage with parishioners, it is critical for churches to offer a range of in-real-life opportunities, outside of Sunday morning worship, where young people can reconnect.”

In 2021, Say Yes! to Kids grants supported youth drop-in centres, education and arts enrichment programs, seasonal camps, Indigenous reconciliation projects, weekend retreats, food security programs, and more. “The depth and variety of youth-focused ministry and outreach across the Canadian church—and in the Diocese of Ottawa, which is a leader in youth-focused ministry—is exactly what’s needed in a post-pandemic world,” says Brubacher. 

The AFC Board is committed to creating an abundant revenue stream that helps parishes overcome the financial barriers to launching and sustaining youth-focused ministry. “We have heard from youth leaders describing pre-pandemic budgets as over-stretched or non-existent,” says Brubacher. “For many, getting back to early 2020, where funding was already in short supply, feels impossible.” 

Stressing that these challenges are not a reason to despair but to act, Brubacher believes AFC can “shift the conversation” and lighten the mood with this nationwide P2P campaign. 

In the past decade AFC has awarded more than $1.5 million in youth-focused grants from coast to coast to coast. “We have seen first-hand that local churches know how to show up for young people. They possess the creativity and innovation to imagine more. What they need is a church that is prepared to resource them faithfully and abundantly.” 

Say Yes! to Kids runs from April 1 to June 30. AFC’s 2022 goal is to recruit 50 parish-based fundraising teams across Canada, including five in the Diocese of Ottawa, with an ambitious goal to raise $500,000 nationally. This will build on the 2021 effort which saw 12 diocesan teams raise $110,000. 

To inquire about becoming a fundraising team or supporting one of the teams in the Diocese of Ottawa, please contact Michelle Hauser, Anglican Foundation of Canada for more information. 

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