Beth Allard-Clough

Beth Allard-Clough

January 26, 2015

EDMONTON – The Sign of Hope campaign has again surpassed its campaign goal in support of Catholic Social Services.

From October to December the campaign raised $3.4 million – $300,000 more than its goal of $3.1 million.

"I'm thrilled and proud," said campaign chair Beth Allard-Clough. "I'm incredibly grateful for the amazing support of our community."

What brought the campaign over the top was "lots of hard work as a team," Allard-Clough explained. "I really believe in this agency and I am passionate about the cause, and when you believe in something you make it happen."

Allard-Clough started the campaign with two goals. "One was to increase awareness about Catholic Social Services and the programs they do and the other was to recruit new donors. And we did both of those things."

Stephen Carattini, CEO of Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities, said he felt a tremendous sense of gratitude to God and the community for the campaign. "I'm also very grateful to our campaign volunteers who worked very, very hard to achieve this milestone."

The CEO also gave credit to the economy, which led people to be more generous, and to Allard-Clough, who "worked very, very hard and very diligently particularly to expand our presence in the corporate sector."

Carattini said Sign of Hope funds are essential to running programs such as those for mothers and children affected by fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, Alpha House for men and women, Kairos programs for people with HIV/AIDS, and several others.

While CSS gets roughly 95 per cent of its $75-million budget from provincial and federal governments, more than 20 programs receive little or no government support. Without the Sign of Hope, those programs might not exist.


It's too early to say what CSS will do with the $300,000 by which the campaign surpassed its goal, but Carattini thinks the funds might allow the agency to consider expanding some ministries and initiating new ones.

One thing is for sure, though. Alpha House, the ministry featured at the beginning of the campaign, will receive funds to meet its needs, Carattini said.

"This year we will certainly be able to fund their projected budget; and it's possible that Alpha House will be one of these ministries that we will look to expand or enhance. But I can't say (for sure) because we (still) don't know."


Alpha House receives 65 per cent of its funding from the Sign of Hope. The program supports men and women in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. It offers residents affordable housing where they can maintain sobriety while preparing to reintegrate into society.

There are two Alpha houses in north-central Edmonton – a nine-bed facility for men and a six-bed facility for women, where residents can stay for up to a year.

Founded in 1961, CSS employs more than 1,500 people and has the support of more than 2,000 volunteers. It has offices in Edmonton, Bonnyville, Lloydminster, Red Deer, Wainwright and Wetaskiwin.

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