MONTREAL, Sept. 29, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Centraide of Greater Montreal's 2015 campaign, the biggest operation of solidarity against poverty and exclusion in Quebec, kicked off officially at noon today in downtown Montreal with Centraide's March of 1,000 Umbrellas. Some 20,000 marchers from the community, trade union, institutional and business sectors walked together, holding up their umbrellas to show their support for the people helped by Centraide's network.
The 41st Centraide campaign will run until the end of December under the theme "One gift changes lives for life." This campaign aims to raise as much money as possible to support the work of over 350 community agencies and projects that help one person in seven in Montreal, Laval and on the South Shore. It must be remembered that one quarter of the population on the Island of Montreal exists on a low income and that, in some neighbourhoods, living in poverty can reduce life expectancy by 11 years.
"The umbrella symbolizes the protection that we have an obligation to offer to people, children and families in need. We want to shelter Centraide's great network from the elements," said Centraide President and Executive Director Lili-Anna Pereša.
"As citizens, we must give everyone the means to realize their full potential. This campaign is an opportunity to work together to bring about change," added Eric R. La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer of METRO, who is co-chairing the campaign with Andrew Molson, Chairman of RES PUBLICA Consulting Group. "My message of hope for the campaign we are launching today : get as many people as possible to come together to support Centraide and bring our communities to connect with each other", concluded Mr. Molson.
A giant "selfie" to launch the "#SELVIES" campaign
To support this vast fund drive, a visibility campaign called #SELVIES was developed on a voluntary basis by the advertising agency lg2. Whereas "selfies" are self-portraits that capture the beauty of life, by visiting www.selvies.org donors will be able to find portraits that capture the unfiltered reality of life, as experienced by eight people in Greater Montreal who are being supported by agencies in Centraide's network.
In order to share these true-life stories as widely as possible, and to remind donors how important it is to support this campaign in great numbers, the 20,000 people who participated in the march posed for a giant "selfie" at the starting point on McGill College Avenue.
Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a board of directors that is representative of the community. It serves Laval, Montreal and the South Shore, helping one in seven people through its network of community agencies. Some 57,000 volunteers are involved in the over 350 agencies supported by Centraide, and another 22,000 work on its annual campaign. Centraide is supported by some 1,600 private and public corporations and organizations as well as by large trade unions.
People can make a donation online at www.centraide-mtl.org or by texting "don" to 80100.
SOURCE Centraide of Greater Montreal
For further information: Annick Gagnon, Public Relations Coordinator, 514 288-1261, ext. 242, [email protected]; www.centraide-mtl.org