ShareLife aims higher in 2008

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  • March 5, 2008

{mosimage}TORONTO - Because you give, ShareLife is making a difference in the community.

That’s the theme the fund-raising arm of the Toronto archdiocese aims to get across as this year’s parish campaign gets into full swing, with the first of three ShareLife Sunday special collections scheduled for March 9. This year’s campaign goal is $14.3 million, a target 4.8-per-cent above last year’s total of $13.65 million, of which $11.5 million came from parishes.

“It’s the generous support of all those who contribute to the campaign that helps make possible the services provided by our agencies,” Arthur Peters, executive director of ShareLife, told The Catholic Register.

“Whether it be families in crisis, people with special needs, the elderly, immigrants and refugees, children and youth, our seminaries and all our brothers and sisters in Christ — more than 200,000 people are touched by the work of ShareLife agencies. And that’s just within the archdiocese, with many others around the world also aided.”

ShareLife funds 34 Catholic agencies throughout the archdiocese, agencies that aid seniors, people with special needs, youth, single parents and pregnant teens, immigrants and refugees, among others.

The parish campaign got underway at the beginning of Lent and runs through July 31. It will be conducted in four different categories of which the parish campaign is the biggest by far, with a goal to raise $12 million this year. There are also corporate, school and employee campaigns.

To help spread the word for the campaign, ShareLife has produced two promotional videos (in partnership with Salt + Light Television), a parish-oriented one and another targeted at youth. Salt + Light will also be featuring ShareLife during Lent in a Catholic Focus segment.

“We have also produced brochures and other materials in Chinese so we can reach a wider audience,” said Bill Steinburg, communications manager for ShareLife.

Since 1976, ShareLife has raised funds to help support Catholic charities and social service providers in the archdiocese and beyond.

“It is important that we achieve this goal in order to meet the allocations that have already been committed to our funded agencies,” Peters added.

In fact, according to Peters, some of the money to be raised during this year’s campaign has not only been committed, it has already been allocated.

“The campaign lasts until July but we have already allocated $2.4 million since January to agencies that rely on our assistance. It is important to thank the archdiocese for its generosity,” said Peters, emphasizing that parishioners have never disappointed the campaign.

ShareLife-funded social service agencies have an “open intake” policy, helping all those in need of assistance, regardless of background or religious affiliation.

For more information on ShareLife, see www.sharelife.org, e-mail slife@archtoronto.org or call 1 (800) 263-2595 or (416) 934-3411.

(With files from Innocent Madawo)

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