AFC celebrates success of 3rd annual Say Yes! to Kids campaign
The Anglican Foundation of Canada (AFC) is celebrating the success of its 3rd annual Say Yes! to Kids (SYTK) campaign, with 17 fundraising teams in 8 dioceses having raised more than $80,000.
“Two thirds of the Say Yes! to Kids teams reached or surpassed their goals,” says Michelle Hauser, Development and Communications Officer for AFC, “and the remaining third achieved between 50% and 80% of their targets.“ Hauser says each team received a $1,000 AFC Angel Donor match thanks to this year’s $25,000 matching sponsor. “And many others benefited from the growing friends of the SYTK community which includes diocesan ACWs and the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Ontario and Rupert’s Land, whose gifts were shared among the teams campaigning in their regions.”
Of the 17 teams in this year’s campaign, more than half were returning participants, like St. Mary Magdalene Anglican Church (SMMAC) in Napanee. “Like many Anglican churches across Canada, SMMAC relies heavily on fundraisers for our core youth program,” says Anne Alkenbrack, Chair of the Children, Youth & Family Ministry Committee. “This was our 2nd Say Yes! to Kids campaign. We did better this year than last, and thanks to Say Yes! to Kids we are able to fund our annual youth retreat and to support youth-focused scholarships in our community.”
This year’s fundraising teams will retain 80% of the funds raised locally, as well as matching funds and leadership gifts provided by AFC. The remaining 20% will go to AFC’s Kids Helping Kids Fund for additional youth-focused grants. “In 2022, the AFC Board approved a $25,000 grant to the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth gathering to sponsor Indigenous youth from across Canada to take part in the conference,” says Dr. Scott Brubacher, Executive Director. “We are currently looking to identify another Indigenous youth initiative, that is national in scope, where we can direct AFC’s portion of the proceeds from the 2023 campaign.”
The Diocese of Edmonton had the top fundraising team in the country and raised just over $10,000 for their Diocesan Children’s Choir. “Established in 2021, with the help of Say Yes! to Kids, this choir is thriving and singing at worship services and liturgical events across our diocese,” says the Ven. Susan Oliver, Archdeacon for Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. “In addition to the musical and choral knowledge, we often hear from parents that our choristers experience improved self-confidence and an overall sense of well-being and belonging. It is important, for many reasons, that we make this choir a sustainable part of our worship life in the Diocese of Edmonton.”
In the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, five participating teams raised a total of $21,000, the most of any diocese in Canada. “Thanks to a passionate Diocesan ACW, an engaged Cathedral community, and the dedication of parishes large and small, we have seen the Say Yes! To Kids movement begin to grow strong roots in our diocese,” says Bishop Sandra Fyfe. “We are committed to nurturing and supporting ministry for children, youth, families, and young adults in communities throughout the diocese. AFC’s vision to be a collaborative partner with our parishes to increase funding for youth programs aligns so well with that. Working together we can do so much more.”
Since it was launched in 2021 SYTK has provided over $710,000 to more than 100 unique beneficiaries and fundraising partners in support of youth-focused ministry and outreach from coast to coast to coast. If you would like more information on becoming a Say Yes! to Kids sponsor or partner for the 2024 campaign, please contact Michelle Hauser at [email protected].