RELEASE: Leon's Donates and Challenges Other Companies
Beginning with the pressures caused a result of Covid-19 and now contending with skyrocketing costs and the impact of inflation, small independent charities like Port Cares are leaning more heavily on their long-time supporters than ever before.
“We’re in a perfect storm. The need to help families struggling to make ends meet has never been greater. At the same time many donors are having to give less as their household budgets can only go so far. It’s times like these that make us even more grateful for the help we receive from supporters and donors which enables us to help people in need. We are truly getting by with help from our friends,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.
In a recent letter written to Port Cares’ Executive Director from Mark J. Leon, Chairman of Leon’s Furniture Limited, he says “The City of Port Colborne and Port Cares in particular, hold a special place in the hearts of the Leon family. Many of us grew up in this area and have made Port Colborne our home. As a result, we have come to know many of this area's residents and have established friendships along the way. We also know that many people, through no fault of their own, have fallen onto hard times for themselves and their families. When that happens, we are grateful for organizations like Port Cares. Christine, you and your army of volunteers are the angels who provide some much-needed comfort to those in need. Leon's Furniture got its start in this area over one hundred and twelve years ago. Through God's good graces and the efforts of thousands of our associates across generations, we are in a position to provide Port Cares with a donation of ten thousand dollars.”
She notes that before taking the Leon’s donation into account, this spring, donations to the agency were down 27 per cent compared to the same period last year and down a staggering 81 per cent from spring 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic started 26 months ago the number of people receiving relief services through Port Cares has grown by 35 per cent.
Clark Lafleur explains that Mr. Leon’s letter and $10,000 gift comes at a perfect time putting the agency back on track with needed resources to operate charity services.
Mr. Leon’s letter to Port Cares goes on to say, “We would like to offer a challenge to other companies in our area who are in a position to do so, to donate whatever they can to your organization. Hopefully, we can demonstrate that our little town really does punch above its weight.”
“We completely understand the circumstances that people who support charities like ours currently face. However, without some sort of economic relief on the horizon and putting the brakes on escalating housing costs, our community will certainly see more families struggle and will witness more episodes of homelessness. We hope those who can take up Mr. Leon’s challenge to help us help people in need,” says Clark Lafleur.
Clark Lafleur emphasizes that Port Cares appreciates the support it continues to receive from donors, organizations and local businesses. “To do the work we do, we not only rely on the generosity of donors, we also rely on the assistance and volunteerism of a number of people and organizations.
We are truly fortunate to have such an incredible cadre of compassionate, caring and giving supporters without who we wouldn’t have been able to remain open the past two years to serve people during the worst of the pandemic.”
On June 22nd at the agency’s 36th Annual General Meeting, Port Cares will recognize the group of dedicated supporters that have gone above and beyond to assist the agency since the pandemic began.