By Stuart Mann
FaithWorks has launched a special appeal that will see every new or increased donation to the campaign matched dollar for dollar, up to $75,000. That means a possible $150,000 in additional funding to help the most vulnerable and marginalized people in the diocese.
“We really ask parishioners to pray about how they can continue to make a difference with FaithWorks,” says Paige Souter, the diocese’s manager of annual giving. “Any little extra that they could possibly do makes a tremendous amount of difference in the lives of others.”
She says even a few dollars goes a long way. “We can take five or ten dollars for granted in our own lives, but for others it can literally mean a hot meal or a coat in the winter or a safe place for a mother and her children.”
Those wishing to make a donation can do so through their parish’s FaithWorks campaign or by donating directly to FaithWorks at www.faithworks.ca. (Online donations will not be included as part of the donor’s parish campaign.)
FaithWorks is the diocese’s annual outreach appeal, providing funds for 15 ministry partners, most of them located in the Greater Toronto Area. These Anglican-affiliated ministries serve about 32,000 people a year, including the homeless, ex-prisoners, refugees, women and children who are at risk of domestic violence, Indigenous people and those living with HIV/AIDS.
The special appeal is made possible by a pledge of $75,000 from an anonymous donor who has supported FaithWorks for many years, says Ms. Souter. “It’s so wonderful that he’s willing to do this,” she says.
She hopes the special appeal will help parishioners refocus their attention on FaithWorks, which saw a decrease in donations last year as people responded to the Syrian refugee crisis. “It’s critical for us to get back to the levels we were at so we can continue to support vulnerable people across the diocese,” she says.
FaithWorks raised $1.3 million in 2017 from parish, corporate and individual donations. Since it began in 1996, it has raised more than $25 million.
Ms. Souter says giving to FaithWorks is a way that Anglicans can put their faith into action. “When we’re serving someone who is hungry, we’re serving Christ; when we’re giving somebody a safe place to live, we’re serving Christ; when we’re helping a prisoner leave incarceration and rebuild their lives, we’re serving Christ. It’s the heart of who we are as his followers. It’s not just enough to have faith in Christ, we need to live out that faith in an active way.”