This year’s ShareLife campaign raised close to $14 million. Money raised by ShareLife supports 34 different social service agencies across the archdiocese of Toronto catchment area. Photo courtesy of ShareLife

ShareLife comes in over the top in 2015 campaign

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  • August 27, 2015

TORONTO - Catholics of the Archdiocese of Toronto pulled together at the last hour to push the ShareLife annual appeal above and beyond its goal.

The annual campaign by the charitable fundraising arm of the Archdiocese of Toronto, which sought to raise $12.95 million, capped off the 2015 campaign by raising slightly more than $13.99 million.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of the parishioners,” said Arthur Peters, ShareLife’s executive director. “When you consider that over the past year we’ve brought in close to $30 million for the Family of Faith campaign, plus $500,000 for the Nepal Relief Effort, to maintain our ShareLife appeal this year is a real sign of the generosity of the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Toronto and their commitment to supporting the work of ShareLife agencies.”

Coming into the final stretch of the campaign things looked bleak, as ShareLife sat almost $3 million shy of its goal. But Peters said additional awareness efforts in parishes along with four significant one-time donations helped push the campaign over its goal.

“We had four very significant one-time gifts,” he said. “The generosity of those gifts helped bring the campaign closer. Also since the last collection in May we asked our parishes to continue to promote the importance of supporting ShareLife, we asked our speakers to do another weekend in June and in July we asked our pastors to do another promotion.

“So basically we asked everyone to make an extra effort to speak about why ShareLife agencies are important and why supporting them is very critical.”

Money raised by ShareLife helps fund 34 different social service agencies within the archdiocese catchment area. It is estimated that more than 114,000 people from various faiths access the services provided by these agencies.

Among those in high demand are walk-in counselling and support for the elderly, noted Peters.

“There is always different needs at different times,” he said. “Our family services agencies have responded to a growing need for counselling by establishing walk-in clinics. Elder care is (also) becoming a big issue in society and I know Catholic Charities is looking at expanding our offering of programs in that area.”

To support that expansion Peters said Catholics will need to continue with their generosity. He is optimistic about that based on this year’s results.

“Being able to maintain the campaign this year is a good sign and we hope that we will be able to maintain (that) for the next year,” he said.

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