On the school’s feast day celebration, St. Joseph school principal Jeff Quinneville, left, and teacher Bo Pryszlak invited students to throw pies at their faces with donations in support of ShareLife. Photo courtesy of Jeff Quinneville

Mississauga school provides hope for ShareLife

  • May 31, 2015

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. - With donations to this year’s ShareLife campaign down, there is a ray of fundraising hope coming from Catholic schools.

Mississauga’s St. Joseph’s Catholic School has more than doubled the amount of money it raised for ShareLife last year.

Although the school had yet to finish counting, principal Jeff Quinneville said he expected to exceed $8,000 in donations this year.

“It is definitely double the amount we raised last year,” said Quinneville.

Tim LeeLoy, co-ordinator of ShareLife’s schools campaign, said the significant increase at St. Joseph’s provides a sign of hope for the struggling campaign.

“Every donation, whether it’s big or small, is a glimmer of hope,” he said, adding that overall donations were down about 13 per cent as of May 22.

ShareLife hopes to raise $12.95 million, a slightly more ambitious goal than 2014’s missed mark of $12.65 million.

This year has been challenging because donors are also supporting the archdiocese’s Family of Faith campaign.

“Although the third parish collection has occurred, there is still time to give as ShareLife’s last day to accept donations is July 31.”

Quinneville said the school has typically only collected between $4,000 and $5,000 since he began the St. Joseph the Worker feast day fundraiser four years ago. But what propelled the student-driven collection at St. Joseph’s this year, he said, was students hearing in-person testimonials regarding the positive impact ShareLife dollars have had through the more than 40 social service agencies it funds.

“In the past we had the chaplain go on the PA for about a two- or three-week period everyday with her reflection on ShareLife,” he said. “But actually bringing people in this year made an impact in terms of the kids understanding what their donations, what their fundraising efforts, are going to do to help people in a practical way. The kids were able to attach a name and a person to the donations that they are raising.”

Quinneville praised LeeLoy for bringing in three speakers this year — one on behalf of the Vita Centre and two clients of Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin.

“This year was different because of Tim LeeLoy.”

LeeLoy said the success of St. Joseph’s campaign is recognition of years of work.

“For the past two years we have been meeting and working closely with superintendents and religion department representatives from our five English Catholic school boards to increase awareness and participation from our schools,” he said.

“I think it’s important to invite people that have been helped by our local agencies to personally tell their story. Once students are informed they move into action.”

LeeLoy said by doubling the collection this year, students at St. Joseph exemplify and reinforce the value of testimonial speakers.  

Quinneville is calling on all other Catholic schools to do the same.

“(It’s) fulfilling our call to be part of the greater Church and to be part of the mission of the Church. As a Catholic school giving back is part of the equation,” he said.

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