Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 17, 2000
CSS campaign goes over the top again
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Catholic Social Services has done it again. The agency's 1999 Sign of Hope campaign has met its goal for the 16th consecutive year.
Despite signs of trouble in mid-December, the campaign exceeded its $1.34 million goal by five per cent, raising $1,402,500.
Campaign monies are used to support the 119 community-based programs operated by CSS in Edmonton and central Alberta. Programs range from services to children to settlement counselling for new immigrants and refugees.
Sign of Hope chairperson Mona Duckett attributed the campaign's success to the generosity and compassion of the citizens of Edmonton who "dug very deep" for those in need.
"Despite an extremely competitive charitable fundraising environment, once again, the community came through for us," she said Jan. 11.
"It's very gratifying to know that despite their own financial pressures, people continued to express their support of Catholic Social Services."
On Dec. 21, three days after Sign of Hope's official closing date, the campaign was still 17 per cent from its goal.
What made the difference is the fact CSS continued to accept donations until the end of December and that campaign volunteers redoubled their fundraising efforts in the corporate sector.
The campaign's largest corporate donor this year was Capital City Savings with $38,000. Sign of Hope has never failed to meet its goal since it began in 1984.
"We are very grateful to the community for their faithful support," said CSS president Al Pierog.
"Although all our programs receive some financial support from Sign of Hope, there are several which rely heavily upon the campaign for their funding, including our counselling services, Safe House and our Kairos programs for persons with AIDS/HIV."
Because the campaign exceeded its goal, CSS will now be able to provide additional funding to its Elderly Adult Resource Service (EARS), noted Father Mike Laporte, the new president of Catholic Charities, the parent society of CSS.
EARS offers risk assessment, counselling and referral services to elderly adults in abusive situations. The program has experienced a doubling of its caseload over the last year, Laporte said.