A coalition of faith communities, working under the banner of Love My Neighbour Project, received the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP)-GTA Chapter Outstanding Philanthropic Award at a virtual ceremony held on December 7th. The award was presented for the group’s fundraising efforts to support vaccine distribution in low income countries.
“Thank you to the AFP philanthropy awards committee for the opportunity to recognize Love My Neighbour as the recipient of this year's AFP Award for Outstanding Philanthropic group,” said Linton Carter, Chief Development Officer of UNICEF Canada in presenting the award. “I am so happy that AFP Toronto chose to recognize a group that has embodied that the pandemic isn't over for anyone until it's over for everyone and who has made it their mission to galvanize their networks and inspire individuals and groups across the country to pay their vaccinations forward.”
Love My Neighbour is a national movement for global vaccine equity, inspired by Millennium Kids and Canadian faith communities, to raise funds to help UNICEF increase equitable access and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable populations around the world.
Donors were asked to gift a 2-dose vaccine to a global neighbour with a donation of $25.
“Working together under the umbrella of Love My Neighbour Project, members of many faith communities, in towns and cities across Canada, raised more than $540,000 to support global vaccine equity. These organizations and donors reflect the diversity of Canadian communities representing at least 12 different faith affiliations,” added Linton Carter. “National organizations and faith communities also supported Love My Neighbour and encouraged their members and supporters to donate - Islamic Relief Canada, Canadian Baptist Association, Mennonite World conference, the Salvation Army, the United Church of Canada - all galvanized support behind this movement for vaccine equity.”
Accepting the award was Sara Hildebrand, Project Coordinator of the Love My Neighbour Project and Founder/Executive Director, Millennium Kids.
“Thank you to the Association of Fundraising Professionals and to UNICEF Canada, especially for honoring Love My Neighbour with this nomination,” said Sara Hildebrand in accepting the award. “This award celebrates the collaborative efforts of six incredible advisors, 35 generous faith communities and organizations, many creative volunteers and all Canadians who've gifted forward the vaccine believing that we each have a role to play in ending the pandemic for all.”
“We're so grateful to be supporting the great work of the UNICEF Canada team in their massive COVID-19 effort. These diverse faith communities united around their common belief that together we can write a different ending to this pandemic story of vaccine inequity. What seemed impossible became possible in the spirit of gratitude that we shared.”
“We're not done yet. 80% of Canadians have now received one dose while only 6% of our global neighbors in the low-income countries have received a single dose. We know we are living in extraordinary privilege in Canada and that calls us to extraordinary responsibility.”
The group hopes to continue the campaign into 2022.
“The task ahead of UNICEF remains huge and Love My Neighbour wants to strengthen UNICEF Canada again in 2022. As we witness each other's love for neighbor, our own love for neighbor increases with greater urgency and greater tenacity. And you can join us - we're not slowing down right now,” added Hildebrand.