Agencies benefit from a generous year of giving to ShareLife

By 
  • April 8, 2011
TORONTO - When last year's ShareLife campaign did a little better than the organization's cautious projections, local charities benefited to the tune of $305,000.

Catholic Charities distributes the largest portion of ShareLife money to 31 Catholic agencies at work in and around Toronto. It allocates the money in November, long before ShareLife raises the bulk of the money during Lent.

"People say, maybe we've got this backwards. Maybe we should raise the money and then make the commitment," said Catholic Charities executive director Michael Fullan. "I've called the ShareLife campaign an act of faith, because it really is."

Coming in a bit higher than projections last year allowed Catholic Charities to distribute one-time extra grants to a number of agencies at the beginning of 2011.

The extra money went to agencies facing extra demand because of a tough economy. Among those, Catholic Family Services of Durham got an extra $8,000 to counsel laid off workers; Silent Voice was given $6,000 to fund job loss counselling; and  Rose of Durham got extra help for its programs supporting young parents to the tune of $3,000.

"That doesn't sound like much, but we try to put a little more in there just to help," said Fullan.

Sometimes agencies need extra funding for the basics of their mission. Les Centres d'Accueil Heritage received $33,000 to help fund an extra outreach worker in the French-speaking community. For Covenant House it was an extra $25,000 to help kids make the transition to adulthood — kids who don't have supportive families to help out with that first job or first apartment. Mater Dei, an agency that helps women recover from alcohol and other addictions, needed $15,000 for strategic planning. Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County used $10,000 for staff development and training.

Agencies were told not to count on this money coming again next year.

"That makes it difficult when you're hiring staff," said Fullan.

But it's hard to argue against a little caution when it comes to money not yet in the bank, he said.

The final numbers on Catholic Charities agencies are:
Catholic Family Services of York Region $427,450
Catholic Family Services of Durham $410,197
Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin $641,224
Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County $677,447
Catholic Family Services of Toronto $1,643,213
Birthright International (Toronto) $20,000
Marguerite Bourgeoys Family Services FertilityCare Program $78,800
Natural Family Planning Association $44,000
Carmelina's Home/Mater Dei Program $20,000
Mary Centre of the Archdiocese of Toronto $107,100
St. Michael's Homes/Matt Talbot Houses $186,572
Our Place Community of Hope $263,609
St. Bernadette's Family Resource Centre $40,000
Saint Elizabeth Health Care $45,000
Silent Voice Canada $237,230
Street Haven at the Crossroads $100,000
Catholic Cross-Cultural Services $210,267
Office for Refugees $229,858
Rosalie Hall $81,719
Rose of Durham $272,591
Rose of Sharon Services for Young Mothers $212,217
Vita Centre $120,000
Les Centres d'Accueil Héritage $131,347
Loyola Arrupe Centre for Seniors $49,252
Providence Health Care $600,000
Society of Sharing $87,799
Camp Ozanam of St. Vincent de Paul Society $175,000
Covenant House Toronto $475,000
Office of Catholic Youth $260,000
Sancta Maria House $50,142
Youth in Transition $195,060
Good Shepherd Refuge $85,000
Special grants to non-members $74,931
Agency Support, advocacy, volunteer development $857,764
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto $782,833

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