ShareLife sets all-time record

  • February 26, 2022

The Archdiocese of Toronto’s annual ShareLife parish charitable appeal brought in a record amount of $13.9 million despite 2021 being heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s a more than $2-million improvement from the $11.68 million raised during the first year of the pandemic, and about $600,000 higher than the previous record high of $13.3 million.

Proceeds from this fundraiser powered by Catholics in the archdiocese’s 225 parishes will help fund the 42 social service agencies supported by ShareLife.

Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLife and the archdiocese’s director of development, said the funds will be very impactful in supporting people in need.

“It helps our agencies provide key services, especially during this very difficult time — people who are truly in need of help,” said Peters. “Families who are experiencing troublesome issues in how to deal with the pandemic such as job loss and other family issues. Domestic violence has been on the increase during the pandemic, and our family services agencies have committed their time.

“We’ve also helped bring refugees into the country through the office of refugees.”

Two separate pledges from a mystery donor were instrumental in helping the campaign surpass the $13.8-million target established in March 2021. The donor made a gift-matching promise in the fall and December that combined matched $1 million of parishioner donations.

Peters also credits the campaign’s adaptability to the remote terrain caused by the pandemic. Through social media posts, multimedia testimonial videos from ShareLife recipients, email blasts and message bumpers on livestreamed Masses, word was spread on how churchgoers could submit online or by-mail donations.

Complementing ShareLife’s parish appeal is the corporate campaign, which collected over $1 million from corporate entities in 2021. While not a record, it is a solid amount. Peters said various companies chipped in, but he particularly credits the Canadian banks for providing annual support.

Peters said work on the 2022 campaign is well underway and the first mailer will soon be sent out to raise awareness. The target number for this year’s appeal will be finalized and announced within the next couple of weeks.

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