Author Archives: Port Cares

Port Cares Supporters take on Anonymous Donor Challenge and Exceed Goal by a Landslide

More than $61,101 in donated funds will support on going operation of Port Cares’ Reach Out Centre & Food Bank

NEWS RELEASE

Date of Issue:  May 1, 2020                                                                     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Port Colborne, ON.:  The outpouring of generosity and support by individuals, families, organizations, service clubs and anonymous donors to Port Cares since April 7th has been unprecedented with the social services agency receiving $61,101since the morning of April 7th. On April 7th an anonymous donor gave Port Cares a personal donation of $2,500 with a challenge to other donors and a commitment keep the fridges and shelves at the Port Cares Reach Out Centre Food bank full through the COVID 19 crisis. The anonymous donor committed to returning to give another $2,500 to Port Cares for a total gift of $5,000 if donations reach $20,000 by end of business day April 30th.

“We tallied the results at 4 p.m. on April 30th and we are awed, humbled and so very grateful for this call to action to help those in need and this amazing response,” explains Port Cares’ Executive Director Christine Clark Lafleur.

She notes that additionally another anonymous donor also purchased $10,000 in grocery cards at the Port Colborne Sobey’s location for Port Cares’ Reach Out Centre staff to use to purchase food for food bank distribution and for the purchase of food supplied required to prepare nutritious meals for the agency’s meal program.

“We rely on fundraising and donations to operate our charitable, poverty relief services. With the directives in place quite rightly we cannot run our fundraising initiatives. We are also very mindful that there are and will continue to be economic challenges the longer the outbreak lasts. We are seeing new people coming to the food bank for help and are also seeing more individuals attending our meal program. The need for assistance is growing,” she adds.

The $20,000 challenge anonymous donor although wishing to remain anonymous for their contribution and inspiration said, “I’m so thrilled that our challenge was met with such generosity and concern. Port Colborne has much to be proud of during these difficult times. The wonderful efforts from the volunteers and staff at Port Cares are much appreciated by us all. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and everyone of you, as well as all those who made a donation during the challenge.”

Christine Clark Lafleur adds  that “The anonymous individual who launched this challenge has truly inspired us and as a result of their generosity and the generosity of all those individuals and organizations that have given to Port Cares and the Reach Out Centre we thank you for helping our agency serve so many in need.”

TO MAKE A DONATION

  • Website – Go to www.portcares.ca and click on the DONATE button
  • E – transfer: E-transfers donations can be made by sending to donations@portcares.ca
  • By Mail: Cheques can be made payable to Port Cares and mailed to Port Cares at 92 Charlotte Street, Port Colborne, L3K 3E1

QUICK FACTS ABOUT PORT CARES REACH OUT CENTRE:

  • Port Cares Reach Out Centre Food bank (ROFC)assists more than 1,400 individuals. A third of the people reliant on the ROFC Food Bank are children.
  • On average 20,000 pounds of food is distributed through the Port Cares Food Bank each month.
  • Most needed food item donations for the food bank include canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta & sauce, peanut butter, cereal, jam, baby food, formula and diapers, personal hygiene items.
  • Last school year the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre located at 61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne provided 2,020 lunch kits /more than 12,000 lunches to local school age elementary and secondary school children who live in low income households.
  • Hot, nutritious community meals are served three times a week to families and individuals in need  with more than 50 adults and children typically attend each meal. In winter months there will be nearly 100 clients attending at meal time.

ABOUT PORT CARES

  • (Port Colborne Community Association for Resource Extension) was established as a not-for-profit registered charity in 1986.  Port Cares is a not-for-profit community organization that provides development, employment, and support services to enhance the quality of life for individuals in Port Colborne, Wainfleet and the surrounding area. To learn more about our organization please visit www.portcares.ca

Message from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on CVITP tax clinics and concerns surrounding COVID-19

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is closely monitoring the situation around the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the guidance provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Their top priority is the health and safety of Canadians, their partner organizations, and their employees. It is with support from the CRA that Port Cares has cancelled its planned tax clinic due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

As announced by the Prime Minister on March 18, 2020, the 2019 income tax filing due date will be extended from April 30 to June 1, 2020. Here are other ways and services to help individuals file their tax returns:

  • Free tax clinics: All publicly advertised free tax clinics can be found on the Free tax clinics page on the Government of Canada website. Please refer clients to this page to find another clinic that may be able to help. Due to the aforementioned recent events, we are continuously working with organizations to ensure that all clinic details are up-to-date.
  • NETFILE: If you can access a computer, you can file online using CRA certified tax-filing software at www.canada.ca/netfile. There are a variety of software products available and some can be used free of charge!
  • File my Return: File my Return is a free, secure, and easy to use telephone service for eligible Canadians with a modest or fixed income whose situations remain unchanged from year to year. Those who are eligible have received an invitation letter to use this service in the mail or in their T1 income tax and benefit package. The service makes it easy and lets you file your income tax and benefit through an automated phone service. For individuals who are residents of Québec, the service only completes the federal portion of the income tax and benefit return. For information on filing a Québec provincial tax return, contact Revenu Québec.
  • Paper Filing: You can still file your income tax return on paper. If you filed on paper last year and your address information with the CRA is up-to-date, you should have received your paper tax package in the mail by February 17, 2020. For more information on paper filing, please visit Filing an income tax and benefit return on paper.

You can view, download and order forms at canada.ca/taxes-general-package or call the CRA at 1-855-330-3305 to order a copy.

If you need to order a package, please keep in mind that it may take 10 days for delivery.

For information on filing a Québec provincial tax return, contact Revenu Québec.

Thank you for your continued support and collaboration.

Port Cares Reach Out Centre Receives $10,000 in Sobey’s Gift Cards Donated by Mystery Shopper

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date of Issue: April 21, 2020

Port Colborne, ON.:  Friday afternoon, $10,000 donation of gift cards for Port Cares Reach Out Centre was purchased at the Port Colborne Sobey’s location by an anonymous community member. It is unknown whether this donation was made in response to the “donor challenge” proposed by another anonymous donor a few weeks ago, who issued the challenge looking for response from others, aiming to reach $20,000 by the end of the month of April, but it certainly rings true to the goal of the challenge; to make a commitment to keep the fridges and shelves at the Port Cares Reach Out Centre foodbank full through the COVID 19 crisis.

“It was just really nice to receive a phone call from the same person who donated last year $5,000 to Port Cares, they realized Port Cares was currently in need and they wanted to help out. They said they wanted to help out again and they wanted to offer $10,000 this time, and that’s all I can say…their generosity is amazing, to help out you guys and everyone in the community.” – Grant Jennings, Sobeys Port Colborne

“Thanks to an incredibly generous community, and continued demonstrations of support like this anonymous $10,000, we are hopeful the Reach Out Centre will be able to keep up with the community need.” Port Cares Executive Director Christine Clark-Lafleur remarks, “We know through the random acts of kindness such as this donation, our supporters recognize the importance of having access to food security support locally, and also understand it is an on-going effort to keep the Reach Out Centre in operation.” This $10,000 will be used to keep the foodbank and meal program well-supplied in order to meet the community need which is expected to increase as individuals and families continue to feel the effects of the pandemic through job loss, and other financial impacts.

In lieu of a number of fundraising activities and events that would normally happen this time of year, these donations are crucial to secure the needed funds to run the Reach Out Centre. Fundraising and donations keep the food bank, crisis services, meal program and other vital services up and running, at a critical time.

TO MAKE A DONATION

E – transfer: E-transfers donations can be made by sending to donations@portcares.ca, please put your mailing address or email in the comment section for tax receipts.

By Mail: Cheques can be made payable to Port Cares and mailed to Port Cares at 92 Charlotte Street, Port Colborne, L3K 3E1

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #20 – Week 5

Wednesday, April 8th   

PLEASE NOTE *** if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home, seek medical advice and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

We’re heading towards the home stretch of the upcoming holiday weekend. There are no new COVID 19 measures or changes today.

On related news, the amazing donors supporting Port Cares have in a single day donated more than $14,000 towards the $20,000 challenge. We are truly supported and blessed.

Stay Well ALL !

Christine

Anonymous Donor Challenges Local Citizens to Donate Funds to Port Cares Reach Out Centre

NEWS RELEASE

  • Aims to raise $25,000 through the COVID 19 Crisis to ensure food bank and meal program services can continue to meet local needs

Date of Issue: April 7, 2020                                                                     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Port Colborne, ON.:  This morning an anonymous donor gave Port Cares a personal donation of $2,500 with a challenge to other donors and a commitment to keep the fridges and shelves at the Port Cares Reach Out Centre food bank full through the COVID 19 crisis. The anonymous donor has committed to returning to give another $2,500 for a total gift of $5,000 if donations reach $20,000 by the end of the month of April.

“I was just wrapping up our daily COVID 19 briefing with staff when my phone rang with a request to meet in the parking lot to provide a curb side socially distanced meeting,” explains Port Cares’ Executive Director Christine Clark Lafleur.

“While we fully respect the anonymity of this donor, we do want them to know how important their gift is to the 1,400 people who are currently using of the food bank.”

Fundraising and donations keep the food bank, crisis services, meal program and other vital services up and running at the Reach Out Centre. “We do not receive any form of government funding for these basic needs. Increasingly with the escalating cost of rent and housing, we are seeing new faces at the food bank. We expect the need for assistance to grow as more people lose their jobs and the duration that we remain in pandemic lasts. Right now we are assisting approximately one in seven people in our community,” she adds.

The agency runs a number of fundraising activities and events this time of year to secure the needed funds to run the Reach Out Centre but with the pandemic those events are cancelled including the annual Soupfest event and Easter Food Drive sponsored by the Port Colborne Fire Department.

“More than ever before we are relying on those who can help us help those in need. The individual who made today’s donation and issued the challenge has also had to shutter their business as part of the state of emergency. Their generosity and inspiration truly helps us in the frontlines of essential services get through the crisis. We will get through this together and we welcome the challenge of raising $20,000 to help those in need.”

TO MAKE A DONATION

E – transfer: E-transfers donations can be made by sending to donations@portcares.ca, please put your mailing address or email in the comment section for tax receipts.

By Mail: Cheques can be made payable to Port Cares and mailed to Port Cares at 92 Charlotte Street, Port Colborne, L3K 3E1

QUICK FACTS ABOUT PORT CARES REACH OUT CENTRE:

  • Port Cares Reach Out Centre Food bank (ROFC) assists more than 1,400 individuals. A third of the people reliant on the ROFC Food Bank are children.
  • On average 20,000 pounds of food is distributed through the Port Cares Food Bank each month.
  • Most needed food item donations for the food bank include canned meat, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta & sauce, peanut butter, cereal, jam, baby food, formula and diapers, personal hygiene items.
  • Last year the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre located at 61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne provided 1,944 lunch kits (9,720 lunches) to local school age elementary and secondary school children who live in low income households.
  • Hot, nutritious community meals are served three times a week to families and individuals in need with more than 50 adults and children typically attending each meal. In winter months there will be nearly 100 clients attending at meal time.

ABOUT PORT CARES

  • Port Colborne Community Association for Resource Extension (Port Cares) was established as a not-for-profit registered charity in 1986.  Port Cares is a not-for-profit community organization that provides development, employment, and support services to enhance the quality of life for individuals in Port Colborne, Wainfleet and the surrounding area. To learn more about our organization please visit www.portcares.ca

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #19 – Week 5

Tuesday, April 7th   

PLEASE NOTE *** if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home, seek medical advice and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

Happy Tuesday all – there are no new COVID 19 related items to report today. We continue to comply with all measures related to the outbreak.

Please continue to abide by public health measures to keep yourselves and your loves ones safe and healthy.

The ability of Port Cares and our Reach Out Centre to help those in need is dependent on donations and fundraising. Every year we must source approximately $220,000 in fundraising revenues and donations to run our ROC services.

And in this time of emergency and difficulty please know that there are so many in our community and beyond who support the work we do. I am attaching a news release we shared earlier today with the news media at the request of an anonymous donor. This donor has challenged others to give by providing us with a $2,500 donation to support the Reach Out Centre and committing to donate another $2,500 should we amass $20,000 in donations by the end of April. We are thrilled to report that we are on our way to meet this challenge with $3,180 donated just today from caring individuals, organizations and businesses.

This support comes at a time of great need as we have had to cancel our annual fundraisers like Soupfest and the Easter Food Drive and postpone Trivia Night.

Please read on and feel free to share the message – thanks kindly, Christine

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #18 – Week 5

Monday, April 6, 2020  

PLEASE NOTE *** if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home, seek medical advice and contact your manager to advise them of your illness.

We’re entering week number 5 of the COVID 19 pandemic and we continue to remain vigilant practicing hand washing, sanitization and physical distancing. For team members working from home – keep up the great work and for the handful of staff members keeping 92 Charlotte and the Reach Out Centre open for essential services – we salute you! Our team of EarlyON staff who have been busy terminally cleaning the sites and inventorying will shift their focus this week to conducting wellness calls to families and producing online activities for families. We’re seeing more and more clients attend our meal program and higher activity today with walkins to 92 Charlotte.

We’ve noticed that people drop their COVID 19 good practices when the sun shines and the skies are blue – please don’t get complacent the weather maybe improving but this pandemic is far from over – stay safe – stay well.

There are no new changes to our services for today. Take care

Christine

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #17 – Week 4

Friday, April 3, 2020  

PLEASE NOTE *** if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.  We’re winding down the work week – thanks to everyone who could take part in our ZOOM chat – great to see your faces and hear that everyone is leading by example and practicing social distancing, hand washing and isolation.

I want to share that early this afternoon the Region of Niagara announced a state of emergency to protect the health and safety of Niagara residents across all 12 municipalities.  The directive states that “This situation represents a real and pressing risk to the health of our community, and we all need to work together to slow the spread of the virus. By declaring this emergency together, we are underscoring the critical nature of the situation with everyone in the region.” The directive also outlines the following mandatory directives that are now in place:

  • Residents are reminded that the following mandatory directives are now in place:
  • Stop all gatherings of more than five people (this includes private gatherings of extended family)
  • Avoid all outdoor recreational amenities, including parks, playgrounds, beaches, and sports fields
  • Close all non-essential businesses
  • Stay home as much as possible and only leave the house once a week if required
  • Self-isolate for 14 days if you have symptoms or have returned to Canada from being outside the country
  • Practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently

Municipalities across Ontario have the power to issue fines to enforce these public health and emergency directives. Failing to comply with an emergency order carries a fine of $750 per offence, and up to $1,000 for obstructing those attempting to carry out their duties under the Act.

Concerns around enforcement should be directed to local municipal bylaw offices. After-hours calls may also be directed to the Niagara Regional Police Service’s non-emergency line at 905-688-4111. Do not call 911.

Stay well all –  Christine

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #16 – Week 4

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT COVID 19 for STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS – COMMUNIQUE #16 – Week 4

Thursday, April 2, 2020  

PLEASE NOTE *** if you are experiencing fever, have a cough and or difficulty breathing we ask that you stay home and contact your manager to advise them of your illness. If you are working another job currently and coming into work premises we would kindly ask that you jointly advise your manager and HR.  It’s a beautiful April day and we are getting through this together. No changes in our ESSENTIAL SERVICE provision today. Meal program and food bank are running in their modified formats and 92 Charlotte site remains open for walk-in clients. There have been plenty of phone calls and donations and calls to donate. Our local residents are getting the message “stay home – stay safe.”  Today we have had two large gifts to help us continue to run the Reach Out Centre – a $1,000 donation from a local company and $1,100 in grocery cards from an anonymous donor along with gloves and masks to keep frontline workers safe.

Stay well! Christine