ShareLife held its 12th annual Elementary School Poster Challenge to promote the mission of “Living the Gospel by providing for those in need.” The winner for English schools is Julian Cassar-Scalia, a Grade 8 student at St. John the Baptist School in Bolton, Ont.

ShareLife set for campaign launch

By 
  • February 21, 2020

After being asked to dig deeper last year to support the most vulnerable in society, parishioners across the Archdiocese of Toronto are being urged to be just as generous as ShareLife kicks off its 2020 campaign on Feb. 26, Ash Wednesday.

The charitable fundraising arm of the Archdiocese of Toronto has set a parish campaign goal of $13.8 million.

The parish goal is unchanged from last year, which was the highest target in ShareLife’s history. It fell just short of achieving that goal, bringing in just over $13 million of the almost $14.9 million raised overall (parish, school and corporate campaigns). That came in just over $500,000 shy of its $15.5-million target. 

While the parish campaign remains the same, this year’s overall target is up slightly with a $15.65-million goal.

ShareLife executive director Arthur Peters is once again optimistic the Catholic community will respond to help ShareLife’s more than 40 member agencies that support the needs of the community, Catholic and beyond. 

These programs focus on children and youth, families, single and teen parents, the elderly, people with special needs, immigrants and refugees and supports the education of seminarians and the formation of permanent deacons. 

No new agencies are coming on board this year, but there will be increased supports for Catholic Charities to fund agencies in Peel Region that joined last year after breaking away from the United Way, said Peters.

“Catholic Charities has identified the expansion of the seniors program and palliative care as two new areas that will require increased resources,” said Peters. “To support these programs, and provide for the ongoing and increased needs the agencies face, it is important that we meet our goal this year.” 

ShareLife strives to keep its administrative costs down to ensure money raised goes to those in need. This helps people like Dave, a member of the Our Place Community of Hope. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 13, the 42-year-old has become an advocate for changing perspectives on mental health and homelessness.

“I can help because I know what it’s like,” said Dave. “There is power in telling your story, learning from others and giving feedback on issues in the community to those who can affect change.”

The campaign kicks off Ash Wednesday and runs through the end of August. There are three ShareLife Sundays — March 29, May 3 and June 7 — where special collections are taken at Mass. 

For more information, see sharelife.org, e-mail slife@archtoronto.org or call 1-800-263-2595. 

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