Announced today by the Reverend Ryan Slifka of St. George’s United Church in Courtenay, the church presented a check for $10,433.15 to Dawn To Dawn Action on Homelessness (dawntodawn.org), the church’s 2020 partner charity.   

In response to Covid restrictions, St. George’s asked its members and the Comox Valley community to contribute to an online fundraiser, in lieu of its annual donation request at the Christmas Eve service (which was only virtual this year).   

Reverend Slika explains, “COVID meant we were unable to fund-raise as normal, so we encouraged members to make a special Christmas offering to our partner charity via St. George’s website. St. George’s sweetened the pot by matching each dollar donated out of its Local Outreach fund up to $5000.”

Funds will provide direct, immediate housing for homeless individuals to transition to permanent housing.

Evangeline Mathura, vice president of Dawn to Dawn says, “We would like to thank the St. George’s United Church for their inspiring efforts of fundraising for our Organization – Dawn to Dawn. The ability to raise $10,000 over the holidays is impressive! It never ceases to amaze me how generous our community can be, and especially St. George’s and all that they do.”

“Homelessness is such a growing issue in our community,” says the Reverend Slifka.   He adds, “And helping to relieve this burden is a core teaching of our faith. Jesus says that whatever we do to the least of his brothers and sisters, we do it to him. So when we feed the hungry, or house the homeless we’re not just serving on his behalf, we’re also serving him. We hope our neighbors will join us in supporting this charity that makes a direct, positive impact in people’s lives.”

In past years, partner charities selected by St. George’s have included Habitat for Humanity and the Eureka Mental Health Support Society.

Located in the heart of downtown Courtenay at 505 6th Street, St. George’s United Church is a spiritually vibrant, inclusive, justice-seeking community of faith that has been changing lives in the Comox Valley for over a century. Its vision is to be a Christian Church that is a beacon of God’s love and hope in the community, doing so through unconditional welcome, spiritual transformation, and reaching out in love for the common good.

The regular Sunday service is now being broadcast on Zoom and Facebook at 10:30 am, until Covid restrictions allow for in-person worship again.              www.stgeorgesunited.com.

Ryan Slifka

St. George’s United Church