Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 15, 2007
Sign of Hope Campaign raises $2,122,200
Albertans' generosity helps surpass $2M goal
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
The annual Sign of Hope Campaign has once again surpassed its goal. The 2006 campaign exceeded its $2 million goal by six per cent, raising a total of $2,122,200, announced campaign chair Wayne Provencal.
The figure includes about $320,000 contributed by parishes from the Edmonton Archdiocese and $76,000 contributed by Servus Credit Union, again the most generous corporate donor.
Provencal, who is the archdiocese's financial administrator, attributed the success of the campaign to the generosity and compassion of Edmontonians who "dug very deeply" for those in need.
"Our campaign success speaks to the strength of Catholic Social Services and the excellent programs it provides. People want to donate to an organization they can believe in and trust."
This is the 23rd consecutive year that Sign of Hope has reached its goal, with the monies raised used to support the programs offered by Catholic Social Services.
The agency provides professional services to more than 60,000 people of all faiths and cultures through more than 100 community-based programs, including services to children, to persons addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, to individuals with physical and mental disabilities and to immigrants and refugees.
CSS spokesperson Mark Barylo credits the grace of God for reaching and surpassing the Sign of Hope goal. "On Dec. 18 we were at $1.4 million so we brought in just over $600,000 in seven working days," he noted.
"So I believe it's (because of) the grace of God that we are able to achieve our goal every year." The campaign concluded officially Dec 31.
Additional campaign funds - those $122,200 raised above the stated goal of $2 million - will be invested in the Edmonton Rotary Centre for New Canadians that CSS is currently developing, announced chief executive officer Chris Leung.
The centre, located in central Edmonton, will provide a range of professional services for new Canadians, including health services, business mentorship to immigrants, job training in the health care field, employment counselling, intercultural seminars, basic Canadian living skills training and child-minding services for children.
The centre will also provide transitional housing for newly arrived refugees and supportive housing to immigrants.
Sign of Hope dollars are crucial for Catholic Social Services, said Leung, noting that several programs rely heavily upon the campaign for their funding.
These 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 Spectrum Disorder, Kairos programs for persons living with HIV/AIDS, Parent-Teen Mediation Services, individual and family counseling and the Elderly Adult Resource Centre.
"It makes good economic sense to support these programs," Leung said. "For example, the cost for one day of care in a hospital for a person with AIDS is more than $1,000 per day. At Kairos House the cost is only $100 per day."