ShareLife campaign rolling but support still vital

  • July 21, 2022

ShareLife is on pace to at least match last year’s record campaign.

The charitable fundraising arm of the Archdiocese of Toronto had by July 14 netted $9.2 million of its $13.8-million goal, equating to 67 per cent of its target. The monies raised will be spent on behalf of over 40 Catholic social service agencies funded through the annual campaign. 

Arthur Peters, ShareLife’s executive director and the archdiocese’s director of development, said the amount raised to date is encouraging, but he’s taking nothing for granted. 

“We’re very pleased with where we are while knowing we have a way to go,” said Peters. “The campaign the previous years extended into the fall, and we believe that people who gave in the fall last year will likely do so this year.”

Speaking to The Catholic Register during his commute, Peters was driving past a gas station when asked how rapidly rising inflation in Canada — and globally — will present hurdles for ShareLife’s monetary mission.

“Gas and food prices have gone up so much over the past year, and obviously, that will affect people’s ability to support ShareLife and other worthwhile charitable causes. But these issues are also out there for people who turn to and count on our agencies for support. We always ask people to give to the best of their ability, which is what we hope everyone can do,” he said.

Last month, Canada’s inflation rate rose to 7.7 per cent in the year up to May, the fastest rise since 1983. The Consumer Price Index released its June data on July 20, after The Register’s press deadline. All indications, however, were that it would remain at least as high, if not higher.

Money collected through this charitable appeal helps a wide breadth of vulnerable populations, including seniors, young parents, the homeless, children and youth, refugees and more.

Peters said more money has been targeted to the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Office for Refugees (ORAT) as resettlement to Canada is on the rise, particularly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Increased money has also gone to aid the social service agencies, particularly those with a mandate to support people suffering from pandemic-induced mental health and development struggles.

“Kids have experienced problems being kept physically away from school due to restrictions,” said Peters. “Families have also broken down during the pandemic, and distress has been caused by people losing their jobs. These issues are very important, and we responded by increasing the allocation of funds.”

Peters noted that some funds raised through partnerships with the Toronto Catholic District School Board and York Catholic District School Board have not yet been tallied.

While not providing specific numbers, Peters said he is encouraged with the uptick in parishioners bequeathing memorial or tribute gifts to ShareLife in their estate plans.

Thanks to minimal interference from COVID-19 this year, the three ShareLife parish collection weekends hosted at all 225 Archdiocese of Toronto parishes occurred before the end of June, as was the standard in pre-pandemic years.

Direct mailers and social media marketing are a couple of the communication tools Peters and his team will utilize to keep the campaign in sight and in mind in the months ahead.

See to learn more about ShareLife’s work and 2022 parish campaign.

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