Like all good public servants, when the call to participate in a spinning class (as in using a stationary bike, not rotating quickly in circles) for a fundraiser was posted in the lunchroom, I signed up. A free workout class (plus extended lunch *wink) in exchange for a few cans of chickpeas was an easy decision. Plus, it supported the Centretown Emergency Food Centre (CEFC). Win, win, win.
What I didn’t realize, was how important these fundraisers really are to these charitable organizations.
The CEFC is a fantastic agency. Founded as the main project of the Centretown Church Social Action Committee (CCSAC), the CEFC supplies those in need with a 5 day supply of food including ground beef, fresh fruit and produce. The organization ensures all their clients are treated with respect and their doors are open to anyone in need.
When Export Development Canada (EDC) presented the CEFC with the food and financial donations from our Spinathon, it was learned that the timing was helpful, as donations are down.
To reiterate: CEFC needs more support this year and they are projecting a deficit of $26,160 for 2017.
“There are numerous reasons donations are down,” explains CEFC Coordinator Kerry Kaiser. “Our member churches sponsored Syrian refugees and are still helping, the Phoenix pay systems problems affected our donations during Christmas, people are having a hard time coping with the cost of hydro and food and the local businesses are struggling.”
Their biggest need is food and money. The group is fortunate to be supported by a strong volunteer corps that work tirelessly to help. But they have a big responsibility: “We serve all that live in our catchment area, including the three emergency shelters, the largest which is the YMCA. We serve new Canadians, people with psychiatric problems, a huge increase in working poor, an increase in families, people on disability, people on welfare, those just released from institutions, the ill, young and old. In a nutshell anyone who needs our help.”
If you would like to help, visit their donation page here.
The event put on by EDC employees was simple yet effective: help raise food and funds for the CEFC while introducing colleagues to fitness classes.
“We organized a Spinathon where people could come down and try a class for 20 minutes in a fun and inclusive way,” says event co-organizer Sarah Cogliati. “We also thought it would be very important to connect this initiative with our community, so we picked a local charity that needed our help. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome. We had 50 employees participate in this event, and we were able to collect over 500 healthy food items for the CEFC. In addition, EDC also donated $1,000 to the CEFC through its Community Investment Program.”
Next time you’re organizing a fundraising event at your office, keep the CEFC and their exceptional needs for 2017 in mind.