ShareLife campaigns hit all-time highs

  • August 27, 2008

TORONTO - ShareLife, the charitable fund-raising arm of the archdiocese of Toronto, reached record donations for its 2008 parish and corporate campaigns.
{mosimage}Arthur Peters, ShareLife’s executive director, said this comes as good news after a rough start to the campaign, noting bad weather kept many potential donors at home for the first ShareLife Sunday collection at parishes throughout the archdiocese in March.

“It was a team effort to bring the campaign back,” he said. “We’re very thankful for the generosity of our partners in response to the ShareLife campaign.”

Although the snowstorms and resulting smaller collection meant ShareLife was about $1 million behind its usual March amount, that didn’t prevent ShareLife from achieving another record year.

ShareLife raised $11,763,375 from parishes in the archdiocese, a 2.1-per-cent increase over last year. It also raised $1,553,460 through corporate donations — a 2.25-per-cent gain. Employee payroll deductions, contributions from schools and other miscellaneous sources brought the grand total to $14,020,209.

“The needs of our agencies are always there and increasing,” Peters said. “The ShareLife effort makes a positive difference to the work of our agencies.”

This really hit home, he said, during a visit he made recently to one of ShareLife’s 34 funded agencies, Four Winds Boys’ Camp on the shores of Lake Simcoe. The camp, a resurrected form of the Columbus Boys Camp run by the Knights of Columbus, has been running since 2007 thanks to ShareLife and Catholic Charities of the Toronto archdiocese.

“Being there and seeing that, you realize that wouldn’t happen if we didn’t have the funds to support it,” he said.

Peters added that ShareLife’s fund-raising efforts play a double role.

“When we’re raising funds, we’re doing more than that — we’re evangelizing the good works of the church,” he said.

ShareLife’s yearly efforts provide support for 34 different agencies in the Greater Toronto Area helping those in need, regardless of religious affiliation. These agencies cater to families, children and youth, the elderly, single and teen parents, people with special needs, immigrants and refugees. The organization also touches on volunteering and agency accountability, Third World development and missions, grants-in-aid, education of clergy and humanitarian relief. More than 200,000 people have received love, care and support because of the efforts made over the past year, according to ShareLife’s web site.

ShareLife has also contributed on a global scale, providing help to those in need abroad.

An extra $813,908, on top of the grand total, was raised through ShareLife this year and sent to the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace for the Myanmar cyclone relief, the China earthquake relief and the Asian flood relief.

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