Rosalie Hall client Josie, left, with her daughter Cindy, alongside case manager Heather Ramsey. Photo courtesy Heather Ramsey

ShareLife helps Rosalie Hall through pandemic waves

  • September 25, 2021

Reducing service to any significant degree is not an option for Rosalie Hall despite the pandemic threat it has been under with the rest of the world for the past year and a half.

“We never closed,” said executive director Jane Kenny. “We provide services for parenting, pregnant adolescents. As you know, babies come when they are ready — not according to a calendar or if there is a pandemic.”

Rosalie Hall meets the needs of pregnant and parenting youth, their children and family members. The pandemic brought its share of issues, but Rosalie Hall weathered the public health emergency with a determined, undeviating tact.

The Rosalie Hall team is worthy of credit for this, but the support of Toronto-area Catholics through ShareLife also warrants a tip of the cap. Kenny says reliable funding from the charitable fundraising arm of the Archdiocese of Toronto is as consequential as ever.

ShareLife funding allowed Rosalie Hall to hire some new case managers to ensure there was not a slide in client support.

“Through the donations and gifts ShareLife gives us every year, we are able to provide family with additional supports and children, maybe with additional learning needs, are afforded the extra staffing support to help them reach their goals,” said Kenny.

Access to medical care and life skills training, counselling and mental health services, housing, food cupboards, supply runs and a multitude of parenting classes are among the suite of services Rosalie Hall strives to reliably offer each day. Kenny also ensured each staff member would be outfitted with Personal Protective Equipment. 

One of the big-scale initiatives executed by Rosalie Hall from a logistical standpoint is completing baby supply runs right to client homes throughout the Greater Toronto Area to avoid young mothers having to take to takepublic transit or travel to other locales where they would be at greater risk for catching the virus.

“Without ShareLife, we would never have been able to meet those needs. We were also able to distribute educational items, and a copy of the newsletter our therapist developed around how to deal with stress, how to stay involved in day-to-day life, etc.”

Reliability, responsiveness and an intrinsic connection to the rest of the Catholic Charities family are several of the reasons Kenny appreciates the long-term relationship between Rosalie Hall and ShareLife. She says the two entities maintain a tight-knit, two-way dialogue.

“They will provide us with updates to help us understand the trends and pressures that are out there, and they are also very interested in everything we do as an agency and our impact,” she said. “It helps staff feel appreciated as well when their work is recognized and it helps us get the word out about the services we have and how people can benefit from them.”

Rosalie Hall is one of more than 40 agencies serviced by ShareLife throughout the year. The success of the fundraising campaigns executed by the organization, especially the parish charitable appeal, plays a key role in helping ShareLife complete this work.

The Oct. 2-3 weekend will be the second ShareLife Sunday throughout the archdiocese. The 2021 parish campaign has netted $8,738,171 as of Sept. 20, 63 per cent of its $13.8-million target. The final ShareLife collection will take place Oct. 30- 31.

“A donation to ShareLife makes a difference in a person’s life,” said Kenny.

“The ripple effect of deciding to make that donation will lead to the improvement in life for someone in need.”

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