#GivingTuesday Drive to Support Pandemic Fund Surpasses Goal

Matching Gift by Ecclesiastical Insurance Amplifies Impact

Posted December 16, 2020

Bishop Susan Bell is thrilled to announce that with the support of Ecclesiastical Insurance and the generosity of Anglicans across Niagara, the diocese far surpassed its #GivingTuesday goal of raising $10,000 in support of the Pandemic Response Fund.

“This result simply delights the heart of God - to share our resources with our neighbours like this at this difficult time is so moving to witness,” said Bishop Susan Bell. “So many people will be helped by the pandemic ministries which are exemplifying God’s great commandment to love our neighbour.”

The results of the first-ever diocesan #GivingTuesday matching gift campaign show that in just one week over $13,125 was raised, primarily through online donations! With the $5,000 support from Ecclesiastical Insurance the amount of funds raised through the initiative increases to $18,125. Additional donations made by cheque and mailed to our diocesan office are still expected to be received.

Colin Robertson, Ecclesiastical Insurance vice president of operations and risk control, was delighted to hear the news, saying, “2020 has been a difficult year and Ecclesiastical is proud to give back to the communities we serve.” For nearly fifty years, Ecclesiastical Insurance has provided insurance coverage to the parishes of the diocese. “We’re grateful for this opportunity to be with the Niagara diocese in 2020 in this way as it aligns well with the support we have been able to provide this year to frontline charities across Canada.”

The funds will make a significant difference to the people served by parishes like Holy Trinity in Welland. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the parish worked with several churches in the area to provide a meal and groceries for 60 to 70 people each week. During the pandemic, this number has increased to about 170 people during the course of a week.

“We know there’s a lot of need around us. If we can help, we will,” said Holy Trinity parishioners Jim Butts.

Stepping up to meet this rise in demand Holy Trinity, Welland had to increase their freezer capacity and food budget. Normally the funds to support this would come from facility rentals and mini-fundraising events – all things that have been suspended during COVID-19 according to the parish's rector, Tom Vaughn. Instead Holy Trinity has relied heavily on individual donations and grants, including a grant from the Niagara Diocese Pandemic Response Fund.

“I just want people to know we’re here for them and if they can, to pay it forward," says Butts.

For Christmas, rather than the usual holiday community feast shared in their hall, the parish has pivoted to support an estimated 300 people with the delivery of a holiday meal to their doorsteps. An additional grant from the Pandemic Response Fund will help support this Christmas initiative, one of several new grants that will be made to support our parishes in their continuing care of the communities they serve.

“These gifts will make such a difference to people like those compassionately supported by Holy Trinity, especially during the Christmas season,” noted Bishop Bell.

Since the Pandemic Response Fund was first launched in the spring, more than $40,000 has been raised. 

“Thank you, more than I can say, to all who have generously offered a real gift of love and hope through their donations to the diocesan Pandemic Response Fund.”