Centraide's campaign is launched with a goal of $53 million to help the most vulnerable

    MONTREAL, Oct. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Over 10,000 people from Greater
Montreal's community agencies and businesses, along with many personalities,
held up their umbrellas during the noon-hour today in downtown Montreal to
symbolize their support for those who suffer from poverty and exclusion. They
were participating in the 16th annual March of 1,000 Umbrellas, which marked
the official launch of Centraide of Greater Montreal's 2007 fundraising
campaign. The goal of this year's campaign is to raise $53 million by
December 11.
    Centraide Campaign 2007 is being co-chaired by Norman M. Steinberg,
Co-Chair of Ogilvy Renault LLP, and Thierry Vandal, President and CEO of
Hydro-Québec. Its aim is to raise the necessary funds to support the 360
community-based agencies in Centraide's network that help the most vulnerable
among us, and to enable Centraide to do even more. "Poverty is very real,"
said Mr. Vandal. "It's when you visit the community agencies that you see how
important it is to take action, because needs are multiple and complex."
    "Donors who give to Centraide know that their contribution supports many
causes that create positive impacts throughout our community," added Mr.
Steinberg. "They can be sure that 88 cents of each dollar raised will go back
into the community and be used judiciously to meet its most pressing needs."
    "People are very generous: they are prepared to do a lot to help," said
Michèle Thibodeau-DeGuire, Centraide of Greater Montreal's President and
Executive Director. "Today's march is the reflection of the huge network of
caring people who join hands to make Greater Montreal into a place where
everyone can live in dignity. That's what makes our annual campaign so
magical: it represents a message of hope for us all."
    Greater Montreal has a population of about 3.4 million people, and
749,000(*) of them live in poverty. Last year's Centraide campaign raised $51.5
million to help 500,000 vulnerable people. Centraide of Greater Montreal has a
matchless capacity to mobilize a considerable amount of human and financial
resources to create lasting solutions to social problems. The agencies
supported by Centraide promote academic success, food security, the autonomy
of persons with disabilities, the integration of new arrivals, provide mental
health assistance, empower families and youth, and much more.

    Centraide of Greater Montreal is an independent organization managed by a
board of directors which is representative of the community. It serves the
Island of Montreal, Laval, and communities on the South Shore. Centraide
supports agencies and projects that promote self-help and mutual-aid, are
active in their community, and together will have a long-term impact on the
Greater Montreal community as a whole by helping over 500,000 people to regain
control over their lives. Centraide relies on a network of over 73,000
volunteers, 22,000 of whom work on its annual campaign. More than 175,000
people contribute financially to Centraide's campaign, mainly through payroll
deduction. Centraide is supported by some 2,500 businesses and corporations,
institutions, and public and parapublic organizations as well as by the
majority of the large trade unions. It also receives over $3 million in free
ad space and broadcast time which is generously donated by corporations and
the media to inform and mobilize donors. There are 18 autonomous Centraides in
Quebec, each managed by an independent board of directors which is
representative of the community it serves.
    The amount raised during Centraide Campaign 2007 will be announced on
December 11, the date the campaign winds up.
    Centraide encourages everyone in the workplaces of Greater Montreal to
give generously to the campaign through payroll deduction. Persons wishing to
make a donation can also call Centraide of Greater Montreal at 514 288-1261 or
visit the "To make your donation" section of its website at

    (*)Source: Canadian Council on Social Development, Urban Poverty Project
2007, Poverty Data Tables based on the 2001 Census (www.ccsd.ca).

For further information:

For further information: Annick Gagnon, Public Relations Coordinator,
(514) 288-1261, ext. 242, Email: gagnona@centraide-mtl.org

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