We’ve come a long way thanks to you!
It’s hard to believe that it was over two years ago when everything changed because of the pandemic. Business closures, staff lay-offs, remote work, and virtual learning for school children forced us to adapt under ever-changing circumstances. Having endured five pandemic waves, I believe that we, as a community, have demonstrated our true spirit of generosity at every step of the way. For that, we thank you!
When our treasured Thrift Shop was forced to close for three months in March of 2020, we lost significant revenue that would normally provide the majority of funds for programs our community relies on. And like other organizations, we had to lay off staff and suspend some of our programs due to COVID restrictions.
Because no one knew at that time what would be in store over the next two years, we realized that in order to stay on solid financial ground, that we would need to look beyond our reliance on Thrift Shop funds to support the important programs and services we provide. Thus began a new phase in our 54-year history.
Operating with a skeleton staff, in April 2020 we put out our own S.O.S. for donations. Our SOS Grateful Hearts campaign was launched to ensure we could continue delivering essential services to our community’s most vulnerable, such as emergency assistance for food and medicine, helping seniors with their groceries, and delivering meals through our Meals on Wheels program.
Thanks to donor funding, we were also able to continue supporting homeless individuals with supplies and housing emergency assistance as well as connecting residents with local, professional counsellors online, and advocating for residents so they would receive the government benefits they were entitled to.
When things began to open up a bit in the fall of 2020, we launched the SOS Project Restart campaign aimed at providing funding to help modify and adapt SOS Child, Youth & Family programs that we knew were essential for the mental wellbeing of kids and their families. Once again, our community answered our call for help.
As we began to forecast our needs for the 2021 year, we anticipated that Thrift Shop revenues would not return to pre-pandemic levels until at least early 2022. So, trusting that we could count on the generosity of individuals, groups, and our business community to protect the social safety net that SOS provides, we launched the SOS Project Rebuild campaign which has now come to an end. But before I provide you with the results, I’d just like to recap why this campaign was so important to our community.
You see, when we launched the SOS Project Rebuild campaign in the spring 2021, we felt strongly that we were at a critical point in our history. That we needed to move beyond addressing immediate needs, although we knew there would still be many.
We felt it was time to rebuild our capacity so that we could provide opportunities to help more kids grow into successful adults, assist more seniors to age in place comfortably and ensure more residents would have a safe place to lay their heads at night. The campaign rally cry was to “reach more and do more” for local residents.
But big ambitions require big financial targets so SOS Project Rebuild set out to raise $1 Million by the end of March 2022. And to achieve that we knew we would need to mobilize the time, talent, and treasure of our entire community.
Once again, our community didn’t disappoint. As of March 31, 2022, we raised $953,336! Even though we didn’t quite make it to $1 Million, we are ecstatic about this important fundraising milestone and have so many to thank for this achievement.
First, we want to thank our SOS Project Rebuild campaign team of Board Members and community advocates who helped guide the vision of the campaign and spread the word throughout the community.
Thank you to the thousands of individual donors who made thoughtful gifts from $10 – $100,000. Every donation matters and we would not have raised the amount we did without all of you.
We also want to thank our SOS Biz for Good partners who made financial donations of $1,000 or more to become part of this inaugural corporate giving program.
We received many contributions in other forms, such as bequests, stocks and securities, in-honor, and tribute donations, as well as proceeds from third-party community events.
And lastly, I want to personally thank our staff and volunteers who have kept our organization running during these challenging times.
Ensuring that a community social safety net remains strong is a group effort. It requires people, funding, and vision. As we enter another new chapter of growth and renewal, I hope we can continue to count on your support. You are what fuels our mission. Thank you!
With our grateful hearts,