Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 17, 2005
CSS Sign of Hope campaign goes over the top … again
Special to the WCR
For the 21st consecutive year, Catholic Social Services has gone over the top in its Sign of Hope fundraising campaign.
"CSS will now be able to start a new family covenant program, which will provide in-home counselling, education, parenting skills and social support services to families in serious conflict or experiencing a crisis," announced Louis Belzil, chairperson of the 2004 Sign of Hope campaign.
Topped goal by five per cent
The campaign raised $1,923,000, exceeding its goal of $1.84 million by nearly five per cent.
It's the first Sign of Hope campaign since the founder of CSS, Msgr. Bill Irwin, died last Aug. 29.
Belzil attributed the success of the campaign to the generosity and compassion of the citizens of Edmonton who dug deeply to help those in need.
"Despite an extremely competitive charitable fundraising environment, once again, the community came through for us," he said.
"Edmontonians are remarkably generous and possess an exemplary social conscience."
Belzil said the success of the campaign shows the trust the people of Edmonton have in CSS, its employees and programs. "People want to donate to an organization they can believe in and trust."
Chris Leung, chief executive officer of both CSS and the Sign of Hope, said several of the agency's programs rely heavily on the fundraising campaign for financial support.
Multitude of services
Those include Safe House and Safe Passages for sexually exploited street youth, First Steps and Step by Step programs for mothers and children affected by fetal alcohol syndrome, Kairos programs for people living with HIV/AIDS, parent-teen mediation services, individual and family counselling, and the Elder Adult Resource Service.
The Family Covenant program, Leung said, "will develop and nurture positive relationships within the family, and this in turn will build healthy children and stronger communities."
The program will help prevent many youth in conflict with their parents from running away from home, quitting school, or ending up in the juvenile justice or child welfare systems, he said.
The largest agency of its kind in Canada, CSS has more than 1,200 staff and 1,800 volunteers, and served more than 60,000 people of all faiths and cultures in 2004.
It has offices in Edmonton, Red Deer, Bonnyville, Cold Lake, Lloydminster, Wainwright and Wetaskiwin.
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