Today 4 Tomorrow Says Yes!

Diocese of Ottawa to partner with AFC in youth-focused pandemic recovery effort

The Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) and the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa are joining forces to raise funds for Say Yes! to Kids in support of programs that will benefit children, youth, and young adults and resource the church’s pandemic recovery efforts.

“Every day there is another news story, quoting more studies and expert opinions, warning about the immense challenges that this pandemic-impacted generation will struggle to overcome,” says Jane Scanlon, Director of Communications and Stewardship Development for the Diocese of Ottawa. “Now is the time for the church to be proactive and think creatively about where additional community support can make a difference in the lives of young people.”

Scanlon applauds both the focus and the timing of AFC’s Say Yes! to Kids campaign: “To plan and mobilize effectively, community-focused ministries need access to the kind of financial support a campaign like this will generate.” In order to maximize the local impact of AFC’s national campaign, and to synchronize fundraising efforts, Scanlon has created an online fundraising team, Today 4 Tomorrow Says Yes! to Kids, and she is encouraging people and parishes in the Diocese of Ottawa to support the team effort.

“Like AFC, the Diocese of Ottawa has a strong track record in funding community ministries that benefit children and families,” says the Rev. Canon Dr. Judy Rois, Executive Director, AFC. “With abundant resources, its existing programs and partnerships can continue to build communities of hope and create opportunities for young people, while also inspiring other faith communities across Canada.”

In Ottawa, proceeds from the Say Yes! to Kids campaign will increase the funding pool for ministries such as The Well, a day program for vulnerable women and children, the diocesan refugee ministry which includes support for children and youth, and the Youth Internship Program (YIP), which promotes faith formation and meaningful employment experience.

Donna Rourke (top left) with the Rt. Rev. Shane Parker, Bishop of Ottawa (right) and members of the Diocese of Ottawa’s Youth Internship Program.

“Knowing we will have the opportunity to access an additional source of funding has stimulated our own pandemic response effort,” says Donna Rourke, Manager, YIP. “The Diocese of Ottawa participates in Spiritual Care in Secondary Schools, an interdenominational and multi-faith program that is unique in Canada. With special funding to train volunteers, we can build capacity to support mental health initiatives for students and staff.” Rourke and Scanlon are also exploring the possibility of a partnership effort that would seek to better educate youth about the church’s painful history with residential schools and find a way to honour “those children who didn’t make it home.”

Say Yes! to Kids runs until June 30. To make a donation to the Ottawa fundraising team, click on the link below.