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Fundraising for Community Ministries hits a new high

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By on March 1, 2022
Jane Scanlon
Jane Scanlon directs the Today for Tomorrow campaign.

The 2021 Today for Tomorrow (T4T) fundraising campaign provided another inspiring example of the adage that people are most generous when times are tough. As everyone coped with the pandemic and all its emotional and economic impacts, generous donors helped the 2021 T4T campaign reach a new height of $408,500.

This funding will support the diocesan Community Ministries—seven agencies which serve some of the most vulnerable people in our communities who struggle with issues such as poverty, homelessness, mental health challenges and addictions.

  • Centre 105 is a drop-in centre in Cornwall, Ont. that provides hot breakfasts three days a week and many other kinds of support for people in the community.
  • Centre 454, St. Luke’s Table and The Well are day programs in three locations in downtown Ottawa that help provide for basic needs such as meals, laundry facilities and showers as well as helping people access health care and social services.
  • Cornerstone Housing for Women provides emergency shelter for women as well as transitional and supportive housing.
  • Ottawa Pastoral Counselling Centre offers counselling on fee-for-service basis but also has a Counselling Support Fund to help provide counselling for those in need who could otherwise not afford it.
  • Refugee Ministry supports groups sponsoring refugees throughout the process and refugees as they settle in Canada.
  • T4T Funding will also support All My Relations and the Youth Internship Program.

The T4T funds were distributed as follows:

  • 86% for Community Ministries
  • 2% for Youth Internship Program
  • 2% for All My Relations
  • 10% for expenses

The campaign’s major event of the year, the Building a Community of Hope fundraiser, which included a silent auction and virtual tour of the seven Community Ministries, used to be an in-person breakfast fundraiser held in the Great Hall of Christ Church Cathedral, but due to the pandemic, it was held as an online event in 2020 and 2021. That move proved beneficial in the sense that the event was no longer limited by the capacity of about 150 people for the Great Hall, so more people could and did attend online. Both online events surpassed the funds raised by past in-person events.

Jane Scanlon, director of Stewardship and Communications, expressed her gratitude to everyone who bought tickets, bid on or donated silent auction items and to all the people who gave to T4T: “The Planning Team, Communications and Events Coordinator Heidi Fawcett, and I focus on engaging people in the work of the Community Ministries through this event and showing them the impact these agencies have on the people they serve. The response to the event and the level of giving is very inspiring. Another event is planned for early in the fall. Please look for more information in Crosstalk.”

Because of this unprecedented generosity … in 2021, T4T was able to distribute more funding than ever before.

A new innovation in 2021 was the creation of the first Christmas gift guide, which gave people the opportunity to support the Community Ministries by giving gifts in a loved one’s honour—for example, providing meals for an individual for a month at one of the day programs or providing for one woman’s accommodation at Cornerstone for a month. It was advertised not only in Crosstalk and on the diocesan website and social media, but also in community newspapers and the Ottawa Citizen. 

Scanlon noted that this first-time outreach into the broader community had a very good response. “The Christmas Gift Guide appeal will be repeated in the months leading up to Christmas in 2022. It was a wonderful opportunity to highlight all of the seven social service agencies that make up the Community Ministries to the broader Ottawa community and to encourage people to give.” One special gift came in the form of a phone call Scanlon received just before Christmas from a woman who had seen the ad in the Citizen and wanted to donate $100,000.

Scanlon expressed her appreciation for all of the participants in T4T. “Because of this unprecedented generosity from individuals, businesses, and in-kind gifts in 2021, T4T was able to distribute more funding than ever before. The beneficiaries are grateful to add the funding from Today 4 Tomorrow to the other sources of funding that they receive, especially as the needs among the people they serve continue to increase.”

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