Celebrating Say Yes! to Kids and this incredible journey of generosity
By The Rev. Canon Dr. Judy Rois
The first gift to the Say Yes! to Kids campaign came on March 25, and it was given by a 14 year-old boy sharing money, set aside as a periodic tithe from his allowance. The gift that helped us officially achieve our $100,000 goal came on June 24, from a retired priest, now in his 90s.
These two gifts bookend a three-month journey of generosity that began in January. The winter months saw some dispirited team meetings, as the relentless persistence of the COVID-19 virus and its unwelcome variants kept us isolated and apart from one another—experiencing increased anxiety as we began to hear more and more disheartening news about the potential long-term impact on young people.
As vaccines came along with the possibility of light at the end of the tunnel, AFC decided to roll up its sleeves and ask: what can we do to make life better in a post-pandemic world? The answer to that question was to Say Yes! to Kids. And so, we launched AFC’s most ambitious campaign to fund its largest-ever Request for Proposals (RFP), to provide $100,000 in funding to support Canadian youth as they begin to return to life after the pandemic.
We knew that traveling this extra mile would require company, and we had no idea how many people would join us. To date, hundreds of donors from coast to coast to coast have joined in this stretch journey. Between that first gift and the one that helped us achieve our goal, there is so much generosity to celebrate.
We are enormously grateful to our volunteers—Board Directors and Diocesan Representatives—who have championed Say Yes! to Kids in their dioceses. This was an unprecedented team effort that helped us to see what we can do when we imagine more together.
Much of the success and momentum of Say Yes! to Kids grew out of our team fundraisers and their supporters. This was AFC’s first peer-to-peer fundraising effort, and we have been inspired by the energy and enthusiasm you have brought. With videos and messages of support, you have put the “fun” in fundraising.
The generosity of dioceses, ACWs, parishes, corporate sponsors, and other groups from across the church went beyond anything we could have anticipated. To those of you who chose to support this campaign, we give you thanks. And we are especially grateful for the $25,000 memorial matching gift, the first matching donation since the one that launched AFC in 1957.
It was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who once said: “Do your little bit of good where you are, because it’s those little bits of good put together that can change everything.”
To all the generous Anglicans from coast to coast to coast, we thank you for doing well more than a bit of good to support Say Yes! to Kids and the health and well-being of young people in this amazing country we call home. We look forward to bringing you good news and stories of the many youth-focused programs and initiatives that will receive funding from this journey of generosity we have made together.