EDMONTON – Catholic Social Services has had its most successful Sign of Hope Campaign yet, raising more than $2.87 million.
That's seven per cent more than its intended goal of $2.66 million, which means youth affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder will get some extra help.
"We are very, very happy with the result and of course touched by the generosity of all Albertans, especially the Edmonton business community," said CSS spokesman Marc Barylo.
This is the 29th consecutive year that the Sign of Hope has surpassed its goal.
CSS provides professional services to more than 60,000 people of all faiths and cultures through more than 130 community-based programs, including services to abused children, to persons addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, and to individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
"I am truly humbled and grateful for the extremely generous and loyal response from Albertans to this year's Sign of Hope Campaign," said John Caputo, chair of the 2012 Sign of Hope campaign.
"It shows the respect they have in the excellent work provided by the dedicated staff and volunteers of Catholic Social Services to people in need."
Although all CSS programs receive some financial support from the Sign of Hope campaign, there are several which rely heavily upon the campaign for their funding, including LaSalle, a second stage shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence, and Safe House and Safe Passages for sexually exploited street youth.
But as promised by CSS at the campaign kickoff, a good portion of the excess funds raised through the 2012 campaign would go to the McDaniel Youth Program, which provides a range of social, emotional, and behavioural supports to teens affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
The money will be used to hire an outreach support worker to assist youth who are on the program's extensive waiting list. CSS is reviewing other programs that may receive dollars from the excess funds raised through the campaign.