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PWRDF donors support vaccine equity with generosity and creativity

A tree in front of Church of the Ascension in London, Ont., was decorated with a ribbon for each donation to PWRDF’s Vaccine Equity Fund during the event.

June 25, 2021

By Mike Ziemerink

In April 2021, PWRDF launched the Vaccine Equity Fund so that Anglicans across Canada could contribute to the worldwide effort to vaccinate people against COVID-19. As vaccines have rolled out across Canada the idea of “paying it forward” has encouraged many to contribute to the Vaccine Equity Fund as they receive their vaccine doses.

“We must ask how we can share the benefits of health care and vaccinations many of us enjoy, with others who need it,” said Archbishop Linda Nicholls, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, as she encouraged Canadian Anglicans to pay it forward.

Individuals have supported the effort on social media, including Bishop Jenny Andison, Bishop Bruce Myers and Clare Urquhart of the PWRDF Youth Council.

Parishes across the country have gotten involved, finding creative ways to come together and raise money for the vaccine equity fund, while staying safe and distant. One such Parish, Church of the Ascension in London, Ont., set up a drive-thru fundraiser called “Jabba Dabba Do,” a play on Fred Flintstone’s iconic catchphrase.

“While many of us spent the spring obsessing about when, where and what kind of COVID-19 vaccine we would get, the new Vaccine Equity Fund reminds us we won’t truly be out of the pandemic until everyone on Earth has access to shots,” writes PWRDF parish representative Sandra Coulson.

Coulson challenged people who had received at least one jab in the arm to pay it forward with a donation to the fund, which will help provide PPE and other supplies for vaccine rollouts among PWRDF partners.

“Donors were given a prod by being told the estimated cost of their vaccines,” writes Coulson. “And Ascension promised to tie a brightly coloured ribbon around a tree at the front of the church for every donation, as a sign to the community.”

The challenge also went out to all churches in Huron Diocese’s London Deanery, resulting in some generous gifts, including a major one from St. John the Evangelist Church in London.

And so, on June 13 Jabba Dabba Do went into action. The parking lot of Church of the Ascension was turned into a drive-thru where donors could drop off their donations, and even stay for a socially distant chat with friends they had not seen in a while. London Anglican churches had not been open for in-person worship since Palm Sunday.

PWRDF also set up a special= online fundraising page so donors could have the option to give online. The drive-thru event blew past its fundraising goal raising more than $2,800 including online donations as well as cheques dropped off at the event and approximately 15% of the donations came through the online page, says Coulson.

PWRDF is grateful for the generous support of donors and volunteers who give time and funds to make sure vaccines are distributed equitably around the world.

How you can get involved

If you are interested in organizing a fundraising event in your parish, community, or deanery, reach out to PWRDF Donor Relations Officer Mike Ziemerink at 416-822-9083 or toll free at 1-866-308-7973 and we will return your call. You can contribute to the Vaccine Equity Fund online by clicking here, or by sending a cheque marked “Vaccine Equity Fund,” to PWRDF at 80 Hayden St, Toronto, ON, M4Y 3G2.

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