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Multi-Service Centre begins fundraising, volunteer appeal campaign

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A donation to the Tillsonburg and District Multi-Service Centre will help to change the life of someone in the community.

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This is the third year the Multi-Service Centre has coupled its annual donor campaign with an appeal for volunteers through a local newspaper insert.

It’s also an opportunity to let the community know about MSC services, said Kathryn Leatherland, MSC executive director.

“All the funds raised go to the Multi-Service Centre and are spent right here in our community, Tillsonburg and the surrounding area,” said Leatherland.

Funds are directed to where they see gaps in the provincial government funding.

“Our fundraising goal this year – for the whole year – is $32,000. Where we are seeing the largest gaps right now is with our Meals on Wheels program, the hot meal delivery that happens at noon Monday to Friday.”

Meals on Wheels is currently offered across Tillsonburg and in the Norwich and Straffordville areas.

There has been a 32 per cent increase in demand for meals above the provincial funding available.

“We are grateful for the provincial funding,” Leatherland stressed.

The MSC volunteer transportation program has seen a similar increase in demand at 15 per cent above their funded target. The program offers transportation to seniors and people with disabilities, typically for medical appointments.

“How can you wait-list someone for a meal or a ride to a doctor’s appointment?” asks Leatherland, noting the Multi-Service Centre made a decision to ‘not have waiting lists.’

They make up for the shortfall caused by extra demand by fundraising to recruit and train additional volunteers for both the Meals on Wheels and transportation programs.

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“We are also seeing that our adult literacy program is beginning to rebound from the affects of the pandemic and people are coming out for literacy help again.”

The MSC one-to-one literacy services are provided by volunteer tutors, she noted.

“So we are recruiting volunteers for that, too.”

They also offer 55-plus computer literacy courses, which have very much been in demand.

“They want to know how to use their computers.”

There are client fees for senior services (required by the provincial funding agreement), including Meals on Wheels, volunteer transportation, foot care and housekeeping services. Fundraising allows them to offer additional reductions in client fees, a subsidy for people in financial need.

The MSC also provides basic, essential hygiene items to help people starting new jobs who don’t get their first pay for one to two weeks, as well as those going into the interview process.

Examples of what a monetary donation could provide is available in the newspaper insert. For example, $25 will support a senior in need who may not otherwise leave their home with a week of hot, nutritious meals delivered by a friendly, trained volunteer. A $50 donation would help subsidize transportation costs for a senior struggling to meet medical expenses.

MSC started a new Grocery Buddies program last year through a United Way seed grant. Going forward they need to fundraise to sustain the volunteer program.

“It remains in demand for some seniors who need that assistance with ordering groceries online and having them delivered to their house.”

For more information on the Multi-Service Centre and its programs visit the website www.multiservicecentre.com or call 519-842-9000 extension 362 or 367.

Donations to the MSC can be made by cheque, Mastercard, VISA or Amex. They can be mailed or dropped off at the Multi-Service Centre (96 Tillson Avenue, Tillsonburg, Ont. N4G 3A1) or online at www.multiservicecentre.com/donate . All donations over $20 receive a tax receipt.

The MSC insert in Thursday’s Norfolk & Tillsonburg News includes a form for those would like to volunteer as a tutor, driver, or as a board member.

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