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How do our donors love PWRDF? Let us count the ways!

Marque Smith (left) used his 40th birthday as an occasion to fundraise for PWRDF.

March 8, 2021

By Christine Hills

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PWRDF donors have always been generous when it comes to supporting our partners and programs. That support comes in many forms: prayer, reflection, advocacy, volunteering and fundraising. This generosity of spirit is especially apparent in times of great joy, celebration and thanksgiving. Weddings, anniversaries and birthdays are a few of the occasions when our supporters have remembered PWRDF. If you would like to create a personal fundraiser in honour of your special day, we can support you with logos and partner stories. We can even set up a unique online donation page to make it easier for your friends to donate, and for you to track donations. Contact our Donor Relations Officer Mike Ziemerink for details. Here are few examples from the past year of our supporters remembering PWRDF during their special events.

A vow to remember

Bishop’s wedding gathers donations 

Archbishop David and wife Debbie. (Gisele McKnight photo)

Archbishop David Edwards of the Diocese of Fredericton defines stewardship as: “Sharing with fellow human beings our God given talents and skills. Stewardship is an ask, not a  compulsion.” His wife Debbie notes this is especially important during the pandemic. At their wedding on January 4, 2020, the couple asked people to donate to PWRDF and other charities in lieu of a wedding gift. As this was a second marriage for both, they had everything they needed and wanted. With more than 300 guests, they were pleased with people’s generosity. It was a win-win situation.They recommended PWRDF for the work done locally and globally and appreciate the work done by PWRDF in partnership, with funds going where they are needed. 

40th fun and sing-along for PWRDF

Marque Smith is a musician and long-time supporter of PWRDF. When he turned 40 three years ago, asking friends to donate to PWRDF in lieu of gifts was an easy decision. “I give to PWRDF because I want to help those who would benefit from  this organization. I feel that I have abundance and I want to share it. ” Using Facebook, Marque set up a fundraising appeal and raised hundreds of dollars for PWRDF. (PWRDF is now able to provide an easier way to set up a unique appeal. Please contact our Donor Relations Officer Mike Ziemerink for more information.)

But Marque’s generosity did not end there. He has leveraged his considerable musical talents on many occasions to hold concerts benefitting PWRDF, including one that turned virtual due to the pandemic. Marque and his husband, the Rev. Canon Greg Smith (PWRDF Diocesan Representative for the Diocese of Huron), were planning a 2020 Christmas concert at St Luke’s, Cambridge. The goal was to raise funds for PWRDF’s All Mothers and Children Count COVID-19 Extension program, St. Jude Family Projects and Indigenous Programs. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, they quickly regrouped and did it on Facebook Live. Marque performed Advent and Christmas Carols with Steve Robinson and Rev. Steve Greene, and Greg Smith presented on the three PWRDF projects. Donations were gratefully received. (Marque and Greg have planned another virtual concert benefitting PWRDF for March 20. Click here for details.)

“We are called by God to be generous hearted,” adds Marque. “PWRDF does wonderful work for countless people worldwide in adverse situations. … They are a phenomenal organization.” 

David and Mahalia (Ronald S. Diamod photo)

Family connection

Tenth wedding anniversary honours Haiti and maternal health 

PWRDF board member David Schulze and his wife Mahalia Verna planned to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary with a big party. Then COVID-19 struck. and they went virtual – with their gifts, too. 

David knew PWRDF had excellent partners that focus on capacity building and the impact on the ground. With Mahalia’s long family history in Haiti, Partners In Health Haiti was the natural choice to be the beneficiary of donations gifts received in lieu of anniversary gifts. 

“We are pleased and very touched to be able to report that since our first email, PWRDF received over $3,000 from over two dozen of our friends and family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” The pair cited PWRDF’s work in Saint Marc, Haiti, where Mahalia’s mother, Clara Lanier Verna, was born and where her grandfather Clément Lanier practised medicine. David’s father, Werner Schulze, was an obstetrician, so the couple were doubly pleased that the Partners In Health Haiti work focuses on maternal health. 

David and Mahalia’s fundraiser was featured in The Globe and Mail (above) and they are pleased to report more their friends donations more than $10,000 to PWRDF’s work in Haiti. The legacy continues. 

Gift of Abundance

There may not be a party – but I have so much 

Hallowe’en means different things to different people but for Rev. Roslyn Macgregor, PWRDF Diocesan Representative for the Diocese of Montreal, it means it’s birthday party time! But in the year of COVID there would be no party, no friends coming over to celebrate, no party hats. Instead, Macgregor invited friends to celebrate with her by keeping health clinics in East Africa safe from COVID-19. Macgregor had a great 74th birthday and quoted the words of a friend, words that she has lived by: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You are offering people an opportunity to give and make a difference.” 

A version of this story first appeared in the February 2021 issue of Under the Sun. For assistance in setting up a fundraiser for your individual or church event, please contact our Donor Relations Officer Mike Ziemerink.