Haitian relief total climbs

By 
  • February 12, 2010
{mosimage}TORONTO - Canadians have raised $113 million for Haitian relief following that nation’s devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, a significant chunk of that coming from Catholics.

Beverley Oda, Minister of International Co-operation, announced Feb. 8 that $113 million in “eligible donations” had been raised by Canadians and would be matched by the government as promised with the creation of the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund Jan. 14.

ShareLife, the Toronto archdiocese’s charitable fundraising arm, reported it had raised $1.8 million by The Register’s press deadline. But more donations were expected to come in by the Feb. 12 deadline for applying to have funds matched by the government.

“It’s really heartening,” said Bill Steinburg, spokesperson for ShareLife. “We as a Catholic community certainly step forward when we’re called upon.”

A large portion of funds raised for Haiti through ShareLife came from parishes and Catholic school boards. The money will be sent to Caritas Haiti through the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.

D&P, not counting the figures from ShareLife, had raised a total of $4 million, with the figure expected to rise, according to executive director Michael Casey.

“We’ve had parishes that have raised multiples of their normal contributions to our Lenten campaign or to other campaigns on this specific one,” said Casey. “It’s been a really wonderful concerted effort everywhere throughout the church.”

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